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Tongue cancer, node recurrence

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2004

Last year I had surgery and radiation for tongue cancer. Now the cancer has spread to the lymph node under my jaw. I am scheduled for neck resection next week. Any tips for recovery or future health? Thanks

ballonk's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2004

I had tongue cancer in 2001 and a reoccurrance 2 1/2 years later in the lymph nodes in the left side of my neck. Had a radical neck dissection in Aug 03 and radiation from Oct - Dec 03. So far, things are going well. I recovered very well from the neck dissection. Originally lost some movement in my neck and left arm but with exercise and time, movement is better. I have no specific recommendations but I'm sure you already know the importance of trying hard to keep a positive attitude about this situation. Keep yourself informed and ask your doctor questions. Keep a list of questions and make sure he/she takes the time to address them. Enlist the support of your family and friends. If you don't have a strong network, try joining a cancer support group. Don't try to be superwoman and go through this alone. Try to eat properly even when it means you have to force yourself to eat. Try to stay active. I wish you well and will keep you in my prayers.

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2004

My (stage 3 SCCA) cancer was in my gums, so half of my jaw was removed in addition to a radical neck dissection. Since your original post was on 5/31, you are probably in the middle of radiation treatments by now. They can be rough, but hang in there. Things get better. I've posted elsewhere about products I used to make life a little easier during treatment and since. (It has been 20 momths since my surgery.) Nutren is a drinkable food that tasted pretty good to me and had lots of calories and vitamins/minerals. Eating probably won't be much fun for awhile, but you need food, so ask your doctor or pharmacist about Nutren. (No, I'm not a stockholder. Just a satisfied customer.) Dry mouth is no fun. I used Biotene products that helped a lot. In fact, I still use them. "ballonk" was right about keeping a positive attitude, it's the best medicine. Find the funny. Joke with yourself and others. Exercise your shoulders, even when it hurts. (It will hurt a lot more if you don't.) Your taste buds will come back in time, but you probably won't be eating anything spicy for a while.

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