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cancerrunner

Skin Cancer - Squamous Cell

Posted by @cancerrunner in Cancer, Jul 11, 2011

Skin cancer survivor here of a rare form to head & neck area. Squamous cell that appeared quickly under my chin then spread within a few weeks to the bone requiring aggressive surgery, then recurrence and then very agressive radiation therapy. Best guess by experts is that my physiology and prior scars may have exacerbated the tumor. I'm an endurance athlete with a hyper-metabolism, but not a sun person at all. I survived with extensive knowledge of how to live life fully without fear of sun exposure. Cancer hit me at 34.

Tags: Cancer, Skin Conditions, mens health

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dougstory

Posted by @dougstory, Aug 31, 2011

Been looking on the internet for people who have had squamous cell carcinoma. Last month I got diagnosed with SCC it turned out to be stage 3. The cancer started on my lip and spread to the tissue and muscles around my chin. I just turned 30. I saw your post and was curious about your treatment. I just had surgery where they removed the cancer along with 85% of my lower lip and part of the tissue and muscles in my chin. They said they were confident they got it all, but would like me to do some other treatments to make sure it did not spread. The pathology came back that the cancer was "uncontained" so there is a chance it has spread to other places. They mentioned Chemo and or radiation therapy. I was wondering what your radiation therapy was like? How did it work? How long did it take? What was the recovery like? What was it called? Any information you have would be appreciated. Thanks. Hope all is well.

cancerrunner

Posted by @cancerrunner, Aug 31, 2011

My oncologist spoke with national panels and chemotherapy was deemed to have little benefit. So I underwent aggressive radiation. Bottom line, I suffered. I lost 35 pounds, tried to eat but was tough, drank but tough so I endured. Cancerrunner.org for more info. Have your dentist seal your mouth and teeth and get some Stanford mouthwash. Connect with pain mgmt specialist and prepare for hydration therapy. I used a PIC line into my heart and gave myself home IV. Your mouth will be horrible so prep for a more liquid diet. Look into making cheese souffle and stock on Boost.

barbarab

Posted by @barbarab, Sep 27, 2012

I have a friend with this exact problem. She is going through radiation and no chemo. What kind of surgery? She would have had to lose an eye among other things with only a 20 percent chance of living an extra two years. She thinks she will die. What prognosis did you get? Thanks in advance.

cancerrunner

Posted by @cancerrunner, Sep 27, 2012

Odds were to just make it through extensive radiation then we'll see. The radiation onc to me to the edge then even more. I was checked every month with alt MRI, PET, CT for two years. Not pretty but still kickin.

barbarab

Posted by @barbarab, Sep 27, 2012

Hi, thanks for the reply! My friend is like a mother to me, and I can't bear that she could die. (And I already lost my mother - to melanoma). I am flying out to see her and take her to radiation for a few days. She went to Mayo but didn't get any good news. So, now she is just doing radiation locally where she lives. What was your prognosis if you don't mind sharing - i.e., what did the doctor say were your chances when you were first diagnosed? It sounds like you had no surgery? That's wonderful you've already gotten two years.

cancerrunner

Posted by @cancerrunner, Sep 27, 2012

I had extensive surgery then radiation. My prognosis was stage III squamous cell carcinoma with low odds since it was speading so fast. Had recurrence after surgery. The cancer was aggressive and spread to the bone. Got lucky to keep my jaw. More info at cancerrunner.org. Contact me anytime and tell your friend to ping me.

barbarab

Posted by @barbarab, Sep 28, 2012

Wow, what an amazing story. Made me cry and admire you at the same time. I wonder if my friend V. will contact you. I will see her second week in October. Maybe I will read her your story when she is lying in bed nauseous from the radiation she gets M-F. She does not want to lose her eye and drink out of straw so she has opted not to do the surgery for now. She is much older than you (mid 60s) but she has that same positive outlook on life and her mother lived until just a few years ago so why should she go so soon herself. I get little squamous patches on my face - one now I am supposed to put chemotherapy cream on for 4 weeks, then antibiotic for one. I see another one starting - always just small little red spots. Seems like nothing compared to what you had, and V. has now, but god help me if one metastasizes. Anyway, if V. wants to ping, maybe you'll hear from us/her. Can't know what she feels or wants - I know I'd want to talk to someone like you if I were in her shoes, but have no idea what would be helpful to her so we'll see. Thank you for your emails. I wish you, your wife and little fella all the happiness in the world.

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