Need some advice - going into radiation for non-curable cancer

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aczbrown11 aczbrown11

Need some advice - going into radiation for non-curable cancer

by aczbrown11 on Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:15 PM

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I hope someone can lend an ear and advice as I am trying to help my father with treatment.  He is 71 years old, diabetic, and in ok health - besides having two types of cancer.

Over the past few months, he has had many tests and scans and it was determined he has Stage 4 Metastatic Oropharyngeal Cancer, which went to his liver AND a separate Adenocarcinoma (Lung Cancer).

In the beginning, the doctors did say it is not curable...we are treating to get rid of what we can see but we can't guarantee treatment would lead to a full cure.  It was inoperable, so the plan was to start Chemotherapy and move on to Radiation after a few rounds.

He is just finishing up his third round of chemotherapy this week.  Luckily, he has tolerated this ok.  He is definitely in more pain and tired.  But he has been keeping his spirits up and still trying to do as much as he can (like golf).

The most recent CT Scan showed all three areas are responding to the chemotherapy.  Which they said is a good thing and this means they should respond to radiation as well.

It looks like the lung cancer will need 3 - 5 treatments of radiation and possibly around the same for the liver metastasis.

The throat will need 7 weeks, 5 days a week, of radiation treatment.  

Everything I am reading and hearing sounds like the next few months are going to be the harder parts.  He will be in pain, have a hard time eating/swallowing/talking, maybe need a feeding tube in his stomach, permanent dry mouth.

Has anyone been through this situation?  What will he be like on the other end of this radiation journey?  Is it worth all of the pain....he will be 72 in November....I don't want to see him do all this work to live - just to end up with a horrific quality of life.

RE: Need some advice - going into radiation for non-curable cancer

by PopPop on Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:58 PM

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I am sorry that you are here seeking answers for your  questions on Oral Cancer Radiation along with the other areas. I am glad to read that your Dad is responding well to the Chemo. 

I can only reply about the Radiation to the Head and Neck as I had Base of Tongue cancer. I had Surgery to remove the tumor on my tongue, lost part of my tongue and Radical Neck Disection to remove invloved Lymphnodes. 

I received 30 Radiation Treatments, I already had the PEG Tube from the Surgery on my tongue. Each person reacts to treatments differently, so one size does not fit all here. Some seem to do better than others and vice versa. I was never in any real pain, discomfort yes, but I was always ahead of the pain by following the Doctors and Nurses suggestions about pain relief. 

They have medication to help save the Saliva glands and better postioning of the Radiation Beams from when I had my treatments in 2004. I have no saliva what so ever, but I work around that with Biotene Dry mouth spray and mouthwash. 

My Best to You, Your Dad and Everyone Here 

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