My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

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My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by Missyr70 on Wed Jun 12, 2013 01:28 AM

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Hello Everyone:Just this past week my husband was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck stage 4. All the doctors are saying is,well we can give him radiation to relieve his symptoms. But we don't believe we can make this cancer go away completely and even if we could it may come back. They are not even mentioning chemotherapy or surgery. In my heart,I feel we need to get a second opinion. My husband is only 53 years old and I feel the doctors need to do everything they can to try to rid him of this.

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by PopPop on Wed Jun 12, 2013 03:26 AM

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Missyr70,

I am sorry you have to be here seeking advice, when the Doctors should be giving you some more direction then what you posted. Yes, please seek a 2nd and even a 3rd opinion before making any final decisions on how to tackle this.

If you have time, read some of the other posts, most of us find out that we have cancer when we are in Stage 3 or 4. Allot of times we are given options, such as the combination of Radiation and Chemo, or Surgery followed by radiation with the possibility of Chemo as well.

My question is this, has your husband's Doctors taken any scans yet? what were the results if they did. I think that there are many more questions to be answered before any treatments are started. Please keep us posted.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by Missyr70 on Wed Jun 12, 2013 04:07 AM

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 He has had a Cat Scan. We were told a month ago,before we knew what this was. That whatever it was had not reached the blood vessels or anything in his neck. They keep saying that it is a slow growing cancer. But now this month,one month or less from the time he had the Cat Scan they are saying it has reached the blood vessles and vital organs in his neck. It has not spread to any of his organs or other body parts,but they are still calling it Stage 4.

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by mimilynne on Wed Jun 12, 2013 07:09 AM

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Is this an HPV 16 related cancer?  My husband has stage 4b squamous cell carcinoma and his DR. is going for a CURE.  The HPV 16 positive improves his prognosis.  It had spread from his tonsil to one lymph node.

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by Missyr70 on Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:48 PM

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They have not mentioned HPV,but I believe he needs to be tested.

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by bramble on Thu Jun 13, 2013 01:26 AM

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On Jun 12, 2013 12:48 PM Missyr70 wrote:

They have not mentioned HPV,but I believe he needs to be tested.

Hi. In November 2011, I had a bilateral neck dissection with removal of the right tonsil and part of my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Reconstruction of the site was effected using muscle, blood vessels and skin from my left thigh. The primary tumour was in my tonsil (over 6cm) and, of the 65 nodes removed,2 on the left and 4 on the right were cancerous. I was given a T3N2c diagnosis. In February 2012 I had a PEG tube fitted followed by 6 1/2 weeks of radiotherapy, with 2 cisplatin treatments, one at the beginning and the other half way through RT.

Although I still cannot eat solid food, as I have trouble manoevering food in my mouth and a constriction in my oesophagus, I have had the tube removed (2 weeks ago) and eat soft foods supplemented by 2000Kcal liquid replacement nutrition. I lost about 50lb, but my weight now seems stable. It's been really tough, but I'm here and I'm claiming my life back. I rely on quite a lot of pain relief and sleep a lot, but I'm regaining my strength.

I just wanted to reassure you that, even though the treatment seems awful, even barbaric, at times, my doctors have assured me, all along, that there aim is a cure and that there is no reason why \i shouldn'tlive to my 80's. I was 47 when diagnosed.

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by bruce63 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 01:51 AM

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Hello,

 

I am very sorry that you and your hysband have to go through this. I can only tell you my story. I was diagnosed with stage 4a squamous cell cancer of the base of the tongue. Initial response from MD Anderson was that I would not survive. I spent some time with CTCA and opted to not take treatment there. Nothing wrong with CTCA but i sought a 3rd opinion at a cancer scnter in my home state of Maine. Through recommendations I went to a radiologist with a reputation of hating cancer. As it has been said, it can seem to be a barbaric process but it works. I opted for the extreme treatment of double radiation and 10 days of cisplatin. That was 2 1/2 years ago. At present I have no sign of the cancer. If it returns I will fight it with the same vigor. I love a good fight.

Cancer is your fight to win. Choosing your medical team is critical. Find a team that will join you to beat the cancer.

A thought to consider is that almost everyone you hear from on this site has been there, has beaten this beast, and remains on site to help guide you through this process.

My prayers go out to you.

Bruce63

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by Missyr70 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 01:59 AM

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Thank you so much for your reply. The doctors we have been talking to have not been as hopeful. They are just talking about easing his swallowing and relieving his pain. They have never even mentioned a cure.They say surgery is not possible as the tumor is too large. I think we should get a second opinion as far as treatment goes.

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by Dlynn1210 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 02:16 AM

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On Jun 13, 2013 1:59 AM Missyr70 wrote:

Thank you so much for your reply. The doctors we have been talking to have not been as hopeful. They are just talking about easing his swallowing and relieving his pain. They have never even mentioned a cure.They "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://cure.They " target="_blank" rel="nofollow">cure.They say surgery is not possible as the tumor is too large. I think we should get a second opinion as far as treatment goes.

Hi Missy -

The first thing you learn from Cancer Compass is to take charge of your own medical care.  I adamently agree with my fellow survivors who are saying to get a second opinion - ASAP.  I was diagnosed at a local hospital with SCC of the left tonsil.  I was prepared to go there for treatment but my husband talked me into going to CTCA in Zion, IL for a second opinion.  It is the smartest decision we could have made.  It meant driving two hours each way and staying Monday through Friday instead of a 15 min drive each way once a day - but I can't say enough good about CTCA.  I met so many patients there whose physicians back home had given up on them but they came to CTCA and were given hope.  

The wife of the gentleman who cares for my lawn underwent treatment at our local hospital last year for breast cancer.  She had completed treatment last Nov and was doing well.  Five weeks ago she was suffering horribly with a massive headache so her husband took her to the hospital ER.  She has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  They were told there was nothing they could do - and gave her 3-5 months.  I had spoke so highly of CTCA that they called and made an appointment.  After going over all tests results they laid out a treatment plan.  However, before they can begin treatment, a blood test revealed she is severely anemic.  One can only wonder how this could happen - so soon after completing treatment they should have been doing regular blood tests - and her markers should have indicated a problem.  How could they not know that she was anemic?  She is getting excellent care now and they both have hope - which is so important when fighting cancer. 

Please please please talk your husband into going for a second opinion - and if necessary, a third one. 

Diana 

RE: My Husband Was Just Diagnosed With Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck Stage 4

by Missyr70 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 02:48 AM

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Thank you. We go for radiation simulation on Friday and IT am definitely going to let them know that we want a doctor who is going to help us fight this cancer,not just relieve the symptoms of it. They say that too many blood vessles and organs in the neck are involved for them to do surgery. Does anyone know anything about that? What IS had forgotten to tell everyone on here is that 2 and a half years ago my husband was hit by a bus and suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury. Therefore I make all his medical decisions for him. I feel that the doctors are treating him differently because of the TBI.

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