Today I received the news that they found squamous cell carcinoma in the swollen lymph nodes on the right side my neck. The otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) also found a growth at the base of my tongue, also on the right side. As the initial shock was sinking in, our first question was is this curable? Well, first more tests will be required to confirm what was going on with my tongue. Also, since there were cancer cells in the lymph node, I would need a CT scan and PET scan to check the rest of my body to see if cancer was lurking elsewhere.
The good news is that IF the cancer is confined to the tongue and neck, the prognosis is very good especially considering that I’m a life-long non-smoker and in general good health. Treatment typically is 6-7 weeks of radiation with weekly chemotherapy to help the radiation. In some cases, treatment also include additional chemotherapy prior to the radiation treatments.
But we would need to wait for the results of the scans to know what treatment regimen to expect. Wait – something I will need to get accustomed to as we take this journey. One of my goals during this time is to “be more patient.” Of course, my main goal is curing the cancer.
Till next time … Dick