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Feb 11, 2019 · Meet others living with Head & Neck Cancer - Come introduce yourself in Head & Neck Cancer

I really had no explanation. For the past four or five years prior to diagnosis I occasionally enjoyed a hand rolled Cuban cigar, but I can’t imagine that was enough to cause cancer. I saw a dentist early on who thought it was lichen planas, and I’ve often wondered if maybe he was right and that turned to cancer. He also suggested maybe I was chewing on my cheek at night because of stress. Again, maybe he was right and that wound turned to cancer. I guess I’ll never know, but one oncologist told me it wasn’t uncommon for folks to contract a cancer that there was no reason for them to have, and I was just one of those who drew the short straw. I just want rid of it!

Feb 10, 2019 · Meet others living with Head & Neck Cancer - Come introduce yourself in Head & Neck Cancer

My name is Paul. I was diagnosed with cancer inside my right cheek in June of 2016. I underwent a flap surgery followed by 33 radiation treatments (in addition to a clinical trial with Cetuximab, which I wasn't able to complete). I thought everything was fine until a recurrence the next year. I had another flap surgery (which was much more extensive than the first) but no other treatment. Then in 2018 it came back yet again, this time on the outside of my cheek. I wasn't given much hope, really, but I persuaded the medical team to try immunotherapy. It didn't work at all. So this past fall I started on chemotherapy, once every three weeks (carboplatin). My quality of life isn't too bad, really, as I can still eat on my own and other than the huge wound (which seems to be healing) and the chemotherapy side effects, I'm pretty well off. But the medical team keeps reminding me that this chemotherapy will not cure the disease, but will slow it down, at best. That isn't what I want to hear, as I'm only 52 years old and otherwise in excellent health. I'd be interested in hearing from other folks similarly situated. Of particular interest is the recent development at the Mayo Clinic of treatment with the measles virus, which I understand is headed for clinical trial with squamous cell carcinoma patients.