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Joined: May 2011

can anyone help me know my possible outcome.... my dr just said we will treat this...
i am 58 years old, female, a transplant paient (so a reduced immune system)

i had a 2 inch squamous cell tumor (that grew in just 30 days) taken out of my neck, it was stage 4 cancer, including cancer in my lymph nodes on that side of my neck. cancer also in the skin there, and tissue.....

dr said he cut as close as possible to the cartoid artry going to the brain but the safe margins may not be there....

going to start cemo and radition together in 2 weeks.

before surgery i was told chances were 50/50 for 5 years if surgery went well...... it did not go well....

i am waiting biospay results on some of the jaw bone they cut off...

thank you

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

I believe MKBrad, who posts on here, is a transplant patient. You might do a search for some of his posts.

So sorry you've become a member of the group. Best wishes for your biopsy results.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Statistics are just numbers, don't look at them or be overly concerned. Main thing is to just concentrate on the positive. Do your treatments and progress from there.

There's a lot going into determing statistics, everyone is different and each of us have our own chracteristics, hereditary factors, general overall health, HPV, age all of that plays into it.

treatment is very good these days and there is a very good success rate. There's many on here that are well over 10 - 15 years post treatment and still doing very well in life.

Welcome to our forum also, sorry about your situation that brought you here. But there are many excellent people here in various stages of treatment, recovery and survivorship.

Thoughts & Prayers,

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

To let you know about odds when my cancer came back a third time I was only giving less them a 5% chance that was 6 years ago. Keep your attitude and your outlook positive; if you believe in God pray every day. I have found this is what made the difference in my outcome.

Take care my friend

fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010


I pretty had the same problem, mine was SCC that became 5 golf ball sized nodes wrapped around the carodit, he said he could not do surgery first it was way to risky. So we did treatments to shrink the nodes and the followed up with surgery. Mine 5 tumors were fast growing, happen in just over 3 weeks.

We are not a percentage, he told me when I asked about my chances. He said do we walk around and look at people and say he has a 62% chance over there, that one there has a 40 percent change. Answer is no. He looked at me and said there are two chances, first one will not happen and second one you will live as long as you maintain a Positive Mental Attitude and those care givers around you do the same. So your either going to live or die. By the way that was 15 plus years ago. I followed his instructions and the results. Additionally he looked and me and said you will be fine as long as your eyes do not stare at the floor as this means your have given up. Never, Never, Never give up.

Treatments will be hard there is no doubt but with a PMA, support from care givers and keeping your faith you will be OK. But it's not going to be easy.

Good Luck and prayers go out to you, your caregivers and doctors.

sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

That's exactly how I feel about it. Attitude Attitude ATTITUDE! I always said I am not a statistic. I'm a human being. I don't play percentages. There's really only two options. Live or die. Chose live.

josh r.
Posts: 251
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi Sweetblood,

I am happy to "hear", read, your thoughts again. I hope you are doing well and I've missed your input  as I am sure many others are as well.

All the best, josh r.

jeepman's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Apr 2011

Everyone is different. HPV, age, etc.etc.etc. There ate just too many variables at work here to give something as concrete as a number. My mother was 61 when diagnosed stage four lung adenoid cancer with two metastasis to her brain. 2.5 years later, brain surgery, chemo, and rads and she is still here. Her cancer is being stubborn, but she is still here and waiting for the lord to heal her.

Prayers and thoughts to you,


Posts: 1
Joined: May 2015

My husband was diagnoses with squamous cell CA neck this past Friday. It is fast growing, a golf ball size a couple of weeks ago, now tennis ball size. He went for CT scans and we went to the ENT Friday where he was diagnosed, it is actually on both sides of his neck the other is still small. He goes in for a tonsulectomy this Friday and we are still trying to not cry every time we look at each other or think of something. We know we must stay positive. I read this message board and read him what you wrote and that clicked. Every time one of us would start to cry the other would say "5 golf ball size" and we would stop crying. We had to go grocery shopping and he stopped at a yard sale along the way. When I heard him ask the lady "how much for 5 golf balls" I had to walk away because the tears just kept flowing. We put the golf balls in a glass on his desk to remind him of you. Last night we were watching a movie, a comedy. I started crying. He got the glass of golf balls and handed it to me saying "need a drink" so I wanted to tell you that you have given us hope. Thank you!

josh r.
Posts: 251
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi dah,

As you can see you have many friends here that are pulling for you to "beat the devil". I found my "golfball", stage 4 SC, in early June of 1991 and started chemo-rads on July 28th which was somewhat new to do simoultaniously at that time. At the time I was given a 12% chance to see Christmas of 1991. Thanks to my faith, family, remarkable wife of one year, friends and the dedicated and fearless medical team I will lift a glass or two on November 22nd 2015 to my 24th year of my second life as I know it. I will have cellabrated my 70th birthday two months before. I write this to you, and others that might draw some hope from it, with gratitude to those who made my second life possible. As was stated by one of our brothers or sisters quoting the late basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, "Never, never, never, NEVER give up!

We're here for each other duh, josh r.

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

My first dx was 01/2012, SCC to lower jaw with lymph nodes involved. 19 hour surgery, rads and Cisplatin. 2013 I had mets wrapped around carotid. Hometown doctors said surgery not an option and took away my hope but I went to Mayo Clinic and had 5 days of targeted radiation (SBRT), tumor was gone. 2014 the SCC came back around the other carotid. A biopsy had shown it was the original SCC so it was apparent there were still microscopic cells out there. I did another combination of chemo and then returned to Mayo for 5 days radiation and my last 4  quarterly scans have been clean since.  Toughest part was original radiation and chemo. 

While not H&N cancer, my brother was told he had stage 4 kidney cancer mets to lung. He went to Mayo and found out he had two primaries, both stage one. He was treated and has remained cancer free. My cousin had melanoma mets to liver and lung and was told to get his affairs in order at age of 50. He did a clinical trial and has celebrated ten years of being cancer free. My point is .... always have hope and faith! Statistics are usually outdated by the time they are published. Time is a gift, so my advice is always to "take it as it comes and deal with it".  Don't waste precious time worrying about what may or may not happen.

Prayers for an easy journey.




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