Oral Cancer, surgery done..waiting for further treatment

Posted by raj2020 @raj2020, Apr 19 4:51pm

Hi My sister got surgery for Oral cancer on 03/16/2020 ,doctors told us all marginal clear. After that radiation was supposed to happen 60Gy/30fr. but in surgery cheek was cut and there is complete hole that is filling/healing at slow pace, doctors put flash from chest to fill the cut/hole, doctors are saying radiation can’t start until cheek wound gets better.
my concerns are 1. since almost 1 month is done how dangerous is that to get delayed.
2. how to find out what is condition of metastasis, should we do any testing , if yes what type of testing.
3. in the mean time we are waiting for wound to heal and for radiation what we can do to stop spreading.
4. if radiation can’t be done, then what alternatives we have?
5. is Radiation enough or we need chemo also.

Caner Type : Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the buccal mucosa
Stage: T4N1Mo, Surgery Date: 03/16/2020

Thanks for advice.

@raj2020 I’m really sorry to hear about your sister’s cancer. How has she been doing? Usually, the doctors do wait awhile after surgery in order for the patient to recover and the wound to heal. It is very important for the wound to be mostly healed before further treatment. I found an article that you might want to read about oral cancer and radiation.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3613874/
As far as metastasis, and tests, your doctor is the best one to know. Has he received permission from your sister to discuss all this with you? A federal law says he/she has to have this. Can you ask your sister to give the doctor this permission and then speak to her/him?
Here is another website for you.
https://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/radiation-side-effects/

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Hi @raj2020, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, an online community where people can share experiences and ask each other questions about any health issue. We can't give professional medical advice. For this reason, I removed the image your sister's medical record. It's not advisable to share personal medical records on a public forum.

You'll also notice that I moved your message to the Head & Neck Cancer group. I did this so that you can meet other members who have had treatment for oral cancer, like @sews @karenjf @alpaca and @loli. They can share their experiences with you.

Raj, you are asking really good questions. These are questions that your sister's cancer team should be able to answer for you. As @becsbuddy said, it is important that the skin heal before starting radiation. I know you're worried about the cancer spreading. That's why I think you and your sister need clear answers from her specialists. They can put your mind at ease.

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Hi All, thanks for your replies, my main concern is what are negative sides if we have to start radiation after 2 or 3 months of surgery, instead of 1 month recommended.
I am taking advice from our primary doctor also 2nd opinion from other doctors, I am asking for 3rd opinion here.
Please feel free to share you knowledge ,experience and opinion freely.

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@raj2020 Like @colleenyoung has said, we cannot give medical opinions because none of us are medical professionals. We can only help and guide you. You mentioned your primary doctor—is he/she an oncologist? She would be the best source of information. Has your sister been referred to a radiation oncologist? He would be an even better source of information. The doctors would not have your sister wait if it puts her in a dangerous position. I wish we could do more for your sister but, really, the doctors have all the answers.

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@raj2020

Hi All, thanks for your replies, my main concern is what are negative sides if we have to start radiation after 2 or 3 months of surgery, instead of 1 month recommended.
I am taking advice from our primary doctor also 2nd opinion from other doctors, I am asking for 3rd opinion here.
Please feel free to share you knowledge ,experience and opinion freely.

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Hi Raj,
I had exactly the same cancer in the cheek seven years ago. My surgery was on March 27 and I did not start radiation until May 20th through July 3rd. Your sisters skin has to heal because radiation will burn her skin. So be patient. I do not have time right now to write more about my case; but I just want to let you know, that you have to trust her doctors about radiation treatment. If they took her cheek out, even her outer skin, it means that they were careful to make sure the cancer was removed. In my case, my cancer was at the beginning stage, so my doctor did not remove my outer skin. I was lucky. Loli

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@loli

Hi Raj,
I had exactly the same cancer in the cheek seven years ago. My surgery was on March 27 and I did not start radiation until May 20th through July 3rd. Your sisters skin has to heal because radiation will burn her skin. So be patient. I do not have time right now to write more about my case; but I just want to let you know, that you have to trust her doctors about radiation treatment. If they took her cheek out, even her outer skin, it means that they were careful to make sure the cancer was removed. In my case, my cancer was at the beginning stage, so my doctor did not remove my outer skin. I was lucky. Loli

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Hi Loli thanks for your reply,it's sad that you also have to go through all this, but good point is it was being treated on time..Hope you are 100% free and enjoying your life fully.

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