Dad is terminal..never seen an oncologist. Is this normal?

Hi all

In February my dad was diagnosed as stage 4 head and neck cancer (lyrengeal) this was by ENT. The only communication/treatment we have had from them was to give him a tracheotomy and feeding tube. My dad declined this as it means he will be left in hospital or a nursing home as we wouldn't be able to look after himself. 

He's now got the district nurse coming out, his GP and palliative care team. It's his GP that has prescribed him his medication (had to wait until May to get any medication) and has been a god send. District nurses and palliative care nurses are good but despite a million questions we still don't know who does what or who we call if he has a bad day etc.

But that's not the question the question is ENT have said the oncologist won't see him as they have no treatment for him. Is this normal treatment? We know he's dying and too weak for chemotherapy and radiation but not seeing him at all? 

Im just confused as to who does what. He doesnt have a carer I'm all he has. 

  • Hi and a very warm welcome to the online community which I hope you'll find is both an informative and supportive place to be.

    I'm very sorry to read that your dad has recently been diagnosed with lyrengeal cancer and it's natural that you have lots of questions surrounding his diagnosis and care.

    As you know the online community is divided up into different support groups so I hope you don't mind me suggesting a couple more for you to join. The first is the head and neck cancer group, which is a great place to ask questions and share experiences around his diagnosis and treatment, and the second is either the carers only group, if you are your father's carer, or the family and friends group if you're not his carer. These last two groups are safe and supportive places to discuss your worries and emotions with others who are caring for someone with cancer.

    Clicking on the links I've created will take you straight to the groups where you can then join them and start a new post in the same way as you did here. You can also join in with existing conversations by clicking on 'reply'.

    It would be great if you could pop something about your dad's diagnosis and treatment so far into your profile as it really helps others when replying to you and also when looking for someone on a similar pathway. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.


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  • we all know we are all different but at the beginning of march this year I was taken into hospital with what i thought was sciatica(well gp did) within12 hrs after a scan I was told i had terminal cancer of unknown primary and was given weeks or short months to live so would have no treatment. I was very week when i left hospital  as i decided with my wife it was the best option. But I have recovered thanks mainly to my wife and physios I can walk again having scan this week and cancer clinic week after to decide where i go. But the point is the doctors are only telling what they think troub le is it affects you mentally. Being home made a huge difference to me. hoping to prove these doctors wrong. so basically there is always hope