Just Diagnosed with Tonsil Cancer - How to Treat?

Posted by johnbonani @johnbonani, Mar 15 2:53pm

I've just been diagnosed with stage three tonsil cancer on Feb 22nd. 63 year old male. Have seen the surgical oncologist and the radiology oncologist, both present the pro's and con's of each, both treatments sound terrible. Both recommend there own procedure and essentially leave it up to me the patient to decide. I'm wondering if some of you in this discussion have had surgery then radiation or just radiation/chemotherapy with no surgery or combination? Full dose of radiation sounds awful but then so does the surgery and I'm told they'll have to do radiation after but perhps a lower dose. Any feedback would be so very much appreciated.
🙂 - John B

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Head & Neck Cancer Support Group.

It really depends on so many variables such as what type of surgery they are offering, what type of radiation they are offering and so many other variables. I would seek out a 2nd opinion.


I was diagnosed with lymphoma on the base of my tongue and tonsils in October 2023. I had 12 treatments of radiation, but no chemo or surgery. The side effects of radiation were hard for me and I am still dealing with taste changes and dry mouth. I had sores in my mouth, and everything I ate burned. My dry mouth was made worse and I lost weight as I wasn't able to eat much of anything for 3 weeks after completion of treatments. I know this paints a bleak picture, but on the upside, my follow up PET scan was clear and my oncologist said I am in complete remission. I am hoping my taste will get back to normal but my radiation oncologist did say it could take several months for it to heal. Not sure if this is helpful, but wanted to share my experience. Prayers to all who are fighting this battle.

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