Throat cancer - feeling overwhelmed and worried waiting for treatment

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I have just put a description down in a previous discussion.What I didn't say is I'm finding myself feeling more and more overwhelmed by it and I don't start treatment for another 2weeks.I see a dentist next week and am so worried about having any teeth out.Has anyone had that?

  • Hi 

    It is a stressful time, the unknown is very scary. You will get through it - take it one day at a time. 

    I had 4 wisdom teeth taken out before treatment - 30 radio and 2 chemo over 6 weeks to base of tongue tumour. I was very nervous about the extraction but it didn’t actually hurt - it was my mind playing over time. It was all done in 15 minutes, I was shocked at how straight forward it was. 


    You may not need any dental work it’s just a precaution to check your teeth - as if there are any issues during or soon after the treatment there can be complications, so best to get it sorted out first. 


    The first 2-3 weeks of treatment you will feel ok. It’s 2-3 weeks in you start to feel fatigued. So, you ll be into the routine of treatment by then. 

    I had a PEG fitted before treatment- that was the best thing I did. It was settled in by the time I had my first radiotherapy and after 3 weeks when I had trouble swallowing it was fantastic. I couldn’t have done it without that. Do you plan to have one? 

    Ask questions of your medical team and on this forum - you will great and honest advice and everyone on here has been through what you are going through. 

    Take it one step at a time and you ll get through.

    Rachel x 

  • Hi Frank

    It is natural to be worried and a little scared by what is happening and the speed that it is happening at.  I was fortunate and did not need any teeth out.  It all depends on their condition and if they are likely to cause a problem post treatment.

    It is a long haul until you will find yourself at a new normal.  That normal for most of us is a good place with only a few limitations on daily life, many of which are not particularly intrusive.

    You will find that the treatment is tough and the recovery can be equally as challenging for a few weeks.  Stay with us and we will help you through this.

    Peter
    See my profile for more details of my convoluted journey
  • Hi Frank29

    I was in your position several weeks ago, I went to the Dental Hospital and thankfully I didn't need any teeth taken out. However, prior to that I believed in my head that I would end up with dentures like my nana had in the 1970s - one size fits all!!!!!

    Just to echo what Peter and Rachel have said, it's a lot to take in but take it one day at a time.

    Good luck going forward

    Dawn xx

  • I see a dentist next week and am so worried about having any teeth out.

    Hi Frank. Sorry to see you here. Can I just add that radiotherapy causes fibrosis and a part of that is interfering with blood vessels. If you have teeth that may need to be extracted years after treatment end the jaw bone may not heal as its blood supply is compromised and may indeed start to die. This is called osteoradionecrosis and is a lifetime risk. It’s better to have teeth that may be a problem dealt with before you start treatment. So don’t be frightened of it. It’s for the best. I managed to escape any extractions  but I was prepared for temporary discomfort if needed

    Dani 

    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    https://todaymycoffeetasteslikechristmasincostarica.com 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

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  • Thanks for explaining this Dani as it was never explained to me in this way, i was just told it could cause further problems down the line if any bad teeth were left in or if they were in the way of the treatment. 

                                                          Chris x

    Its sometimes not easy but its worth it ! 

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  • Thanks for explaining this Dani as it was never explained to me in this way,

    It never is, is it? I think most consultants feel we wouldn’t understand and maybe they don’t have the time to explain. 

    Dani 

    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    https://todaymycoffeetasteslikechristmasincostarica.com 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

    Community Champion badge
  • Can I thank you all for your reassuring messages.Having now seen the dentist and I,a) have a much better understanding and b,) no extractions.One more step forward.Next week the peg.

  • Thank you for that Rachel.My family are wonderful but I find myself being way more optimistic than I actually feel.I was worried about teeth .Well all done ,no teeth needed to go.Next the peg.I have felt reassured by you and all the other kind people here.

  • Hang on in there. Get the peg done and you’ll be able to get on with treatment and getting better. 
    Remember this cancer is curable 

    Dani 

    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    https://todaymycoffeetasteslikechristmasincostarica.com 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

    Community Champion badge
  • Hi Frank 

    I start treatment on the 24 th had a dental and did not have to have any dental work . I know how you feel it is being in an unknown situation the guys on here are amazing, try to stick to this group I have found everyone is here to support you and not scare you like other forums do .