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How many chances for chemo and radiation

swartpb's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2011

Please give advise.

I had chemo and radiation during the period March - June 2011 but the tongue cancer is back again.

I asked the oncologist if it is possible to do chemo and radiation again and he recon that I had my chance!

He said that I will either need to do surgery or die!

Is it true that one gets only one chance to chemo and radiation?


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm not familiar with anything especially specific to your scenario.

But from what I have gathered on here...

There are more than a few on here that have had concer return, chemo and even rads more than once, a few more than twice..., and some of those have been kicking around for 12-15 years or more...

I would go get a second opinion, preferably from a different facility.

Geeez, talk about giving a guy hope and psotive vibes... I might even run to another facility for that second opinion.

Best ~ John

swartpb's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you John

That is what I also thought!



phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

Git thee to another cancer center.....there are other chemo drugs, and different types of radiation machines at the bigger centers....


ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

also get a second or third opinion. By the way, I am being treated with chemo after a second opinion in a second facility. Rick

donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012


Join Oral cancer foundation forum. There are many who have had treatments for recurrence. Some have been around the block 3 or 4 times with the beast. best. don

Posts: 1104
Joined: Jan 2011

I just finished my third go around with radiation at the end of Feb.  I started in Sept 2010, 2nd Sept 2011 and Chemo and rads started Dec 2012.  Not saying it is fun, but doable.  Rad Onc needs to map the area more carefully 2nd time.  Newer rad machine, more focused and less damage.  Get to a Big Cancer Center.  Get a 2nd opinion.

Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2013

I clearly can't know exactly what is happening with you nor do I want to play doctor.  Still I very specifficaly asked that question of the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic and they said yes that while second radiation and chemo is very rough and has to be done with great care it is doable, at least for the type of cancer I "had" - neck, stage IV Unknown Primary, HPV+ two lymph nodes involved. 

Surgery in addition might make perfect sense. 

Again I could be very off track and each case is different, but no way I would leave it at no chance without getting a lot of input.

Hope you find out something good and very soon.  Best to you.

hawk711's picture
Posts: 566
Joined: Jan 2010



Try to PM some of the folks who have had recurrence, like HONDO.  He had 2 rads that I know of.....

Good luck with this,


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1508
Joined: Nov 2011

..and he too can possibly help.  I will add that I think a MAJOR CANCER CARE CENTER is the way to go.  When I got a "weird" scan that showed some issues in the lungs 8 months after my last rad I went to Seattle Cancer Care Allinance (ranked number 8 in the nation for cancer treatment). My team of docs who treatmed me I felt were very good, but when I asked what would the next step be if indded my "weird" lung scan turned out to be cancerous, it was as if they implied "you die" ...I knew then that though they meant well, I needed a back up team at a major treatment center. I now see both. In fact in July I go back for a routine exam to Seattle. 

My lung scan turned out to be infection related....but I will also add now that my current team knows I am being checked on and seen by SCCA in Seattle, they are much more attentive and a bit more probing. I think professional ego has something to do with that bc one of my current team docs (not with SCCA) asked me "why did you go to SCCA?"  I told him bc I did not like the resopnse your team gave me.  :) He said "well, I guess that is fair".

Keep us posted and go elsewhere!


I hear the Davinci Robot is a great tool.  And if your cancer of tongue is back and you are stage I or II that would seem to bode well for surgery, but I also hear now they have "radiation seeds" they can plant right in where they do surgery and it's a form of radiation direclty to a spot.  However Longterm or someone else more qualified than me might can add as to whether that is a true and better idea than traditional rads.

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