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Ask Dr. David Your Own Question
Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 46707
Experience:  Board Certified Oncologist
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I have had chimo and radiotherapy treatment for oral cancer.

Customer Question

I have had chimo and radiotherapy treatment for oral cancer. Though it has shown no signs of return as yet, can I have additional treatment?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 4 years ago.

Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

I am glad you have completed chemotherapy and radiation for oral cancer

Dr. David :

and I am glad that no cancer has come back.

Dr. David :

if your cancer comes back, you can get additional treatment,

Dr. David :

but at this point, if there is no oral cancer, you don't need treatments.

Dr. David :

are you following up with your doctors to get your mouth checked every few months?

Customer :

Yes I am Dr. David but at times I am not convinced they are listening to details of side effects that I am suffering e.g. some antibiotics prescribed have had no effect. Maybe it is a psychological barrier that I have and was wondering whether or not a reduced dosage may be beneficial?

Dr. David :

what side effects are you having?

Dr. David :

why did you have antibiotics?

Customer :

Dry mouth, pains/aches in scar tissue area, which has not fully healed over, "glue ear" and associated symptoms (largely resolved through surgery) constant congestion.

Customer :

Because they were prescribed along with painkillers

Dr. David :

dry mouth is from radiation destroying the salivary glands in the mouth. this is a long term side effect which will not be fixed by antibiotics.

Dr. David :

there are medications like salagen and evoxac which might help dry mouth.

Dr. David :

also there is artificial saliva sprays like biotine products which might help with dry mouth.

Dr. David :

pains and aches in the scar tissue area need to be stretched.

Dr. David :

did your doctors tell you to stretch your jaw and mouth and neck after radiation? this is very important to do to stretch the scar tissue.

Dr. David :

scar tissue can only be stretched for the first 4-8 months after radiation, then the scar tissue becomes permanent and can't be stretched.

Dr. David :

when did you finish your radiation?

Customer :

The antibiotics were not for dry mouth.

Customer :

radiation finished end of July 2012, restricted opening of jaw did not fully evidence itself until fe/march this year and I was given exercises to do including use of a Therabyte tool

Dr. David :

you should have been given exercises to do when your radiation finished in July 2012.

Dr. David :

to prevent the jaw stiffness

Dr. David :

1 year later it is hard to stretch the jaw since the scar tissue is already hard.

Dr. David :

I am a radiation oncology doctor

Dr. David :

and give radiation to mouth cancers for many patients.

Dr. David :

when patients finish radiation, I always tell them to do neck and jaw stretching immediately after finishing radiation.

Customer :

OK thanks for that. I was advised that jaw stiffness could occur at any time post therapy when I enquired why it had taken 7-8 months to manifest itself. I had been receiving Lymphoedema massage until Januray and no signs of jaw stiffness until thereatfer.

Customer :

I will just have to raise these issues again at my next OPC

Dr. David :

try the therabyte tool.

Dr. David :

it can be slow and painful.

Dr. David :

ask for pain medication to help you stretch.

Dr. David :

but this is called a late reaction from radiation.

Dr. David :

which could have been prevented if you had the therabite earlier.

Dr. David :

best of luck to you

Dr. David :

let me know if you have other questions

Dr. David :

if done, please leave +++ positive feedback below

Dr. David :

thanks for using JustAnswers.com

Customer :

One final Q so additional chimo would not be helpful unless the cancer returns?

Dr. David :

yes, additional chemo would not be necessary unless the cancer returns.