← Return to Scar tissue in throat caused by radiation and chemo treatment

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In 2009 I discovered a lump in my throat. I was diagnosed as having squamous cell carcinoma of my left tonsil. I choose the University of Chicago for my treatment. I agreed to partake in a clinical trial that called for 50 radiation treatments (7500 rads per exposure) and chemo. I left the hospital in November of 2009. Cancer free. I remain cancer free today.
However, 50×7500 rads of exposure burned me up inside and outside. I discharged from the hospital looking like I just survived Hiroshima. This was a huge ordeal. My epiglottis stopped functioning as a side effect of the radiation. I was further diagnosed as suffering from dysphagia due radiation treatment. High potential for aspiration kept me on a feeding tube for almost 3 years.
Somehow I was able to teach myself to swallow again and had been enjoying a limited diet until January of last year.
Seems I developed ORN in my left lower jaw. Needless to say the jaw finally fractured.
In April of 2018 I underwent a surgery to remove a dead and diseased portion of my lower left jaw. It was then replaced with a section of my left fibula. This was a huge operation that took about 10 hours. This miracle was accomplished at Loyola Hospital.
The area around my mouth is now numb because nerves were severed during the surgery. I am once again on a food tube and this time I believe it's permanent.
Food for thought concerning your treatment.

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Replies to "In 2009 I discovered a lump in my throat. I was diagnosed as having squamous cell..."

Fortunately, for me, my treatment was less intense. I was given 35 doses of radiation directed very targetedly at the source of my cancer. I am only 6 weeks after the radiation and am beginning to recover from its side effects. Hopefully, I won't have to endure the long term issues you are encountering. Thank you for your input.

This is an incredible story. I think radiotherapy is a lot more targeted these days.

Hi Robert, I am so sorry to hear about your jaw surgery that made you go back to the feeding tube. I also was diagnosed with cancer of my right tonsil and had to undergo both radiation and chemo. The treatment has now caused me to suffer from dysphagia as well and has placed me in a feeding tube. I have been done with treatment for almost a year now and still am on the feeding tube, unable to eat any solids or anything other than watery liquids. I have been trying so hard to eat again but I don't know what else to do. If I may ask, how did you teach yourself how to swallow again the first time around?