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jalind's Recent CancerCompass Activity

  • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

    Nine years later I'm still coping with the morbid effects of surgery and six weeks of head/neck radiation, and will be for the rest of my life. Some of them are a combination of the two as I'm missing 16 lymph nodes, and a parotid (salivation gland). * Lymphedema - in my lower limbs of all places* Xerostomia - not just the missign parotid but radiation effects on other salivation glands.* Fibrosis - combination of s...

    June 04 at 12:23 PM view post
    • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

      Neglected to mention . . . I'm also a 5 year melanoma survivor, with that diagnosis occurring almost exactly 3 years after the H&N squamous cell carcinoma. It was also on my neck on the same side as the radical neck dissection which complicated the excision slightly but nothing we couldn't deal with. Keep putting one foot in front of the other toward the ultimate goal and find something to celebrate every day, e...

      June 08, 2018 view post
      • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

        I am with Susan (Sdurnell) on this. The thread started eight years ago, barely a month after I finished six weeks of radiotherapy after a radical neck dissection and Stage IV diagnosis. I won't candy-coat treatment morbidity. It's quite severe for head & neck squamous cell carcinoma's standard of care. It will take some time to recover from treatment once it ends. For me it was a couple of months or so as some of...

        June 08, 2018 view post
        • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

          Glad you're improving from treatment effects. It will take a while. Chemo, depending on what it was, can also affect taste. The time needed for mine to substantially return wasn't far off from yours. How is your salivation? That usually takes a hit. How severe depends on the individual, and the specific radiation plan with its radiation field. Treating radiation induced xerostomia is well understood, usually with dai...

          December 30, 2016 view post
          • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

            I wouldn't let up on this until finding out definitively what was causing the string of swollen nodes. It could be a number of things, but metastatic cancer is one of them, hence the FNA. It's the standard method of determining what's going on inside lymph nodes sufficiently close to the skin surface to enable using it. There are any number of causes for what you're experiencing. Wait for the FNA pathology before thi...

            November 14, 2015 view post
            • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

              Note that some form of biopsy is typically necessary for medical insurance purposes before the insurance company will allow proceding with any treatment. "Just looking at it" doesn't usually count as sufficient proof that it's cancer. A good, experienced doctor may know that it's extremely likely with appearance combined with other presenting symptoms, enought to be willing to wager big bucks on it, but the insurance...

              November 14, 2015 view post
              • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

                One thing to keep monitoring for many years after head/neck rads is blood TSH. The pituitary produces TSH to regulate thyroid T3 and T4 production. In other words, the pituitary controls thyroid T3/T4 output. A high TSH level means the body's pituitary is kicking the daylights out of the thyroid to to do its thing (make T3 and T4) and isn't seeing sufficient results. Radiation induced hypothyroidism is one of the mos...

                August 19, 2015 view post
                • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

                  missfather . . . You're exactly correct in your skepticism about sugar causing, contributing to, or "feeding" cancer. The claims that it does so are the stuff of Urban Legend, perpetuated by Bogus Science and web sites touting bogus alternative cancer treatments that claim to eliminate sugar from your body. The source of this is typically attributed to the use of very short half-life radioactive glucose as a tracer ...

                  July 23, 2015 view post
                  • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

                    The likelihood is you have an infection of some type. Lymph nodes get swollen in the neck, under the jaw, under armpits, etc. when your body is fighting an infection. That's why physicians often palpate them (feel them) when they suspect an infection. The lymph system is part of what your body uses to fight it off. You should see a physician about the headache, neck pains and swollen nodes, and go from there. There a...

                    May 08, 2015 view post
                    • jalind has replied to a post on the message board

                      While a lot of what you see written talks about anything over SPF 30 being overkill, they don't give the rest of the story. For clothing, that's pretty much the case. For sunscreen, remember that its effective SPF degrades with time, by sweating off, rubbing off, and/or photodegradation from solar UV. It's one of the reasons I use a very high SPF sunscreen so I don't need to continue reapplying throughout the day. If...

                      May 08, 2015 view post
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                      About jalind

                      Patient, Survivor
                      Head and Neck Cancer, Skin Cancer - Basal Cell, Skin Cancer - Squamous Cell, Squamous Cell Cancer
                      After Treatment, Cancer Diagnosis, Cancer Nutrition, Cancer Treatments, Chemotherapy, Conventional Treatments, Image Enhancement, Radiation, Surgery

                      Stage IV SCC originating from SCC skin cancer on neck. IMVHO the staging for mine is anomalous due to rigid, somewhat simplistic staging rules, and is actually closer to Stage III (under prior rules it would have been classed Stage III). A modified radical neck dissection removed the original skin lesion near back of jaw, 22 regional lymph nodes, and the parotid gland on that side. Pathology found original skin lesion (already knew this from punch biopsy) plus 6 regional lymph nodes involved with SCC (we already knew about 2 of them from fine needle biopsies). Surgery was followed by 31 daily sessions of adjuvant radiation therapy which was finished mid-April 2010. Coping with various, very long-term and/or permanent radiotherapy side effects including some ongoing fatigue (the thyroid is still functioning well) and major xerostomia (lack of saliva) which causes numerous dental and eating issues and is a general PITA.

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