Booked in to see the Hospital Prosthodontics Dentist

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Hi everyone

Just a little update since my neck dissection - 3 weeks in. The horror scar is healing nicely but I have a lot of numbness and a droopy mouth. However, the good news is my consultant is confident that they removed all the cancer cells BUT as a 'belt and braces' approach they are recommending I have adjuvant RT. I am not going to lie from what I have read RT sounds horrendous BUT (again) if it reduces the chance of the cancer coming back then I don't really have a choice.

Anyhow.....I have an Oncologist now who tells me that I need to see a specialist dentist, he didn't really say much about it, citing that I must be overwhelmed with information? So I read up about it and now I am worried they will find problems with my teeth and I will have to have them removed - just another torture treatment to deal with.

Is this something people do not talk about as I not seen it mentioned on any head or neck forums?

Thanks

Dawn

  • Hi Dawn. RT is challenging but I wouldn’t describe it as horrendous. All the side effects can be mitigated. It’s not a walk in the park but it doesn’t last forever. Consider it a short step to a normal life free of cancer. I’m seeing my oncologist for the last time in May. I never thought that day would come but the time has flown by. 
    Regarding your teeth: if there are any unhealthy ones that lie in the path of the X-rays it makes sense to take them out. After RT there is a lifelong risk of osteoradionecrosis in that part if the jaw getting a heavy dose. If you need to have teeth out there is a chance that the jaw won’t heal and will break. 
    Im at the bees just now but when I get back I’ll do a search for some posts. 

    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 Dani - it just never came up until I met with the Oncologist - probably just over thinking the situation. 

    Fab news about your recovery Heart 

  • Thank you. I forgot to say that a thorough dental check is routine before treatment. Youll have an oral exam and an OPG which is one of those X-rays that do your whole mouth in one go. 

    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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  • After you’ve seen your hospital dentist get your own to give you a fluoride varnish which will protest your teeth for three to six months. I have mine done every three. 

    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
  • Thanks for that.  It's information overload and it is given 'matter of factly' - My menopause brain doesn't always join the dots immediately.Wink

  • Overload! Absolutely.
    It pays to take notes in consults.
    Tell you what. I got really forgetful after RT and my post menopausal flashes returned. I’m back on HRT and will be till they put me in a box. I‘M a new woman! JoyJoy

    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
  • Hahhahaha now thats a good news story Grin

  • After you’ve seen your hospital dentist get your own to give you a fluoride varnish which will protest your teeth for three to six months.

    this.. I'd advise everyone go for a varnish before RT. every little helps, so the saying goes..

    Loz (61)

    Oropharyngeal right tongue base T2N2bM0 squamous cell carcinoma p16 positive.. 

  • Yes. Then it takes the worry out of looking after your teeth when you can’t. The obsession with keeping them clean comes later. 

    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 Dawn As Dani says radiotherapy isn’t horrendous it’s  hard but I was 61 snd I did it. Plus 8 weeks later flew to Spain to our apartment. Dental checks are routine they need to know how our gums and teeth are. I go to dentist every 3 months always have done I’ve amalgam fillings from the 70 s but I got away without any extractions. After care re teeth is vital as a major side effect can be dry mouth but use the prescription toothpaste have regular fluoride varnishes and you’ll be ok. 
    Take radiotherapy one day at a time don’t be brave pain killers are there to be taken and feeding tube likewise. Well all help you through it. 
    we regularly talk re dentist you might not have seen the posts don’t be scared. 
    glad you’re ok after neck dissection. 
    Om almost 6 years post treatment now. 
    hugs Hazel 

    Hazel aka RadioactiveRaz 

    My blog is www.radioactiveraz.wordpress.com  HPV 16+ tonsil cancer Now 5 years  post treatment. 35 radiotherapy 2 chemo T2N2NM.Happily getting on with living always happy to help