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Chemotherapy drugs for tongue cancer.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009


My Dad was detected with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and we got it operated. Unfortunately it
had even spread to the lymph nodes on the left side which too were removed.

The doctor has said that next line of action after the surgery would be chemotherapy and radiation.
I would like to know what kind of drugs for chemotherapy are used and what are the side effects of the
same. Please even let me know what care, food wise has to be taken post surgery.

Please help me through this difficult phase.


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006


I also had surgery to remove cancer from my tongue, along with a radical neck dissection where tainted lymph nodes were discovered. Subsequently I received 33 of a scheduled 35 radiation treatments (every weekday for seven weeks), along with several doses of chemotherapy in the form of cisplatin.

When the chemotherapy was provided, it was in the form of a mixture including benadryl, (ostensibly to help me relax and even drowse during the treatment), decadron (a steroid I was told would aide in reducing nausea), and one other that slips my mind at the moment.

In any event, in my case the cisplatin made me very nauseous for a couple of days following treatment. Please be advised, however, that different folks handle these drugs differently, and, in fact, even in the relatively brief time since I was administered this chemotherapy (late 2005 into January of 2006) improvements have been made in dosage considerations, frequency, 'ingredients', and so forth. Your dad's effects may be easy to handle, we can hope.

As for nutrition, when my original surgery was done a peg tube was inserted directly into the stomach, allowing me to ingest nutrition through that, since eating was not possible for some time (they actually replaced half of my tongue, which may have complicated things).

I would assume that if dad can swallow, items such as Ensure and Boost, yogurt, ice cream, broths, would all be good possibilities. Hopefully, though, you have access to a nutritionist who can assist dad and his family in developing a sound program for maintaining appropriate nutritional levels, depending on his unique capabilities and condition.

Good luck to dad, and best wishes to him and his entire family.

Take care,


Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Joe,

Thanks a lot for your help.

Have you heard about the drug named erbitux. It is new one approved for head and neck cancer.
If you have any information about the side effects of erbitux and is it beneficial then the conventional
chemo drugs.

the peg tube has been removed and he has started eating from the mouth.

one more question: how long normally does it take to start eating solid food?

Again Thanks a ton for your answers.


John oldtmr
Posts: 33
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Rahul,

The way the Erbitux was explained to me, I'm not having surgery just Erbitux and radiation, that the Erbitux makes the tumor more susceptible to the radiation. The chemo doc said that the main side effect was a rash on the upper body, neck, and face. Got my first infusion on Mon. Loading dose (double dose) with Benedryl. I found that this is true today, as The Rash is here.

Can't speak to the eating and tube. Getting my tube in Mon. the 6th. Getting 2nd dose of Erbitux Tue. Don't know if I'll get started on radiation next wk. or not. Not looking forward to any of this, but want to get started and get through it.

Best To You're Dad,


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