Squamous Cell Carcinoma -Survivor

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RE: Two More Weeks

by jalind on Tue Dec 31, 2013 07:40 AM

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On Dec 29, 2013 12:35 AM Sdurnell wrote:

On Dec 28, 2013 3:25 AM wildog wrote:

   Aloha Two More Weeks, I don't know what your'e  referring to about Epson Salts. I have been told by my alternative doctor that a lb of Sea salt and a lb of epson salts in a very nice hot bath that you keep hot and soak for a 1/2 hr will help get rid of the radiation your body still has after the treatments. How many is something the alernative doctor had to determine and I have to have 6.

Your body doesn't retain radiation to speak of after treatments.  Maybe you are thinking of a the radioactive tracer that you are given for a PET scan?  That is retained, and it's advised that you not be in contact with the very young, the very old, or the pregnant for 24 hours until it's dissipated.  I was bottle feeding two orphaned kittens when I had my last scan, and although my RO said they would be fine, they already had more compromised immune systems than kittens with mothers would, so I fostered them out for a couple of days to be safe.  (They are big and healthy, awaiting adoption at Seattle Humane now.)


In general this is correct. External beam ionozing radition, whether or not it's fractionated into many doses over time, is very high energy X-rays, the equivalent of Gamma radiation. It **cannot** create any radionuclides (aka radioactive isotopes) inside your body. There is NO residual radiation at any time afterward, for any length of time. There are two notable exceptions. Infusion of a radioactive Iodine is often used to treat thyroid cancer. However, it dissipates quite rapidly although the patient must be isolated with all bodily waste collected and disposed of properly for a number of days afterward. Combination of Half-life and eiimination in bodily waste takes care of it; no special treatment is needed. The other exception is brachytherapy which inserts low dose radiation seeds directly into a tumor. Typical application is for prostate cancer. The seeds are such low dose with a moderate half-life and they're typically not removed letting the half-life reduce them to an undetectable radiation level.

Basically, unless you ingest radioactive materials, by breathing, eating, drinking them, or by having them infused (via IV) or surgically implanted, you're NOT going to become radioactive by being exposed to external radiation sources. That doesn't mean it cannot hurt you . . . a high enough dose over time will kill you as your body cannot recover from all the damage it causes quickly enough.

Drinking "salts" of any kind doesn't do anything. Drinking fluids of nealy any kind to speed up urination and increas urine volume does help to eliminate those radioactive materials that would be eliminated by the kidneys through urine waste (the radioactive glucose used in PET/CT scans is very short half-life and is eilmimated in urine in less than a day).

RE: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

by franko35758 on Thu Feb 26, 2015 07:12 AM

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On Jan 29, 2011 1:08 AM tinymark wrote:

On May 22, 2006 12:00 AM Juclay wrote:

Hello folks, I've read accounts of several people's experiences with SCC and my best wishes go out to all. I was diagonsed with SCC on my tongue in August of 2004 and immediately made my way to M D Anderson in Houston. These guys are considered the world's best. When I first got there, it scared the Hell out of me because it is so big and they come out of the wood work like a bunch of bumble bees. After a full evaluation, it was decided to perform an operation that would include the removal of 30% of my tongue and a partial neck disection involving an incision from behind my left ear to below my chin. Sounds scary but the scar in not very noticible and the removal of part of my tongue has affected my speech very little. After the operation, they decided I needed six weeks of radiation. This required the removal of three of my teeth on the left side. This was done all at one time and frankly it was the most painful thing I endured. The radiation was another story unto itself. The six weeks (five days a week) of radiation was not so bad at first. I didn't have any side effects for the first 10 or so treatments. Then it hit the fan. I developed a strong metallic taste in my mouth and everything tasted horrible. This happened the day before Thanksgiving. I continued treatment until Dec. 28th 2004. As a result of the treatment I developed ulsers in my mouth and had a difficult time eating. I lost 50 pounds. All in all I wouldn't wish radiation therapy on my worst enemy. They tried to talk me in to inserting a feeding tube, but I told them no way. Even though I lost from 197 down to 147 pounds, 30 of the 50 pounds was weight I needed to lose any way. I did find out I couldn't maintain my weight by drinking Boost. Even that was hard to get down. In January of 2005 I decided to join a health club, which I did and started working with a personal trainer. He helped me with not only regaining my strength, but with my nutrition also. He got me started on a supplement called Cytogainer-made by Cytosport. Since I joined the health club and started taking supplements I've gotten myself back into best shape (170 lbs.) I've been in since high school (I'm 61 years old). I would highly recommend it. Ive had several check ups since my last radiation treatment and all is well (at least for now). My doctor says I'm her recovery poster boy. My radiologist says in his 13 years at MDA, he has not seen anyone recover as fast and as well as I have. For any body faced with similar treatment, I would highly recommend the use of liquid supplements such as Cytogainer during your treatment to maintain your weight and to regain your health after treatment, join a health club and work like your life depends on it. It does!!

My brother, whose 47, was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the tonsils ( stage 4)  and has 2-3 lumps in the lymp nodes on the  left side of his neck in dec 2010. He had cancer in both tonsils, which doctors said was, uncommon to have it in both. Still not sure why. The tonsils were removed last week.   The treatment they are sugesting now, jan. 28 2011, is radiation and full body chemo 5 days a week for 7 weeks. he weighs in naturally at only 140 pounds. We are going for a second opinion next week in Boston. The treatments that I have read here, dont seem as severe as the one my brother will receive.. The doctor also implied-  the stage 4 cancer, he said, is an un-usally stage 4 meaning, the head and neck are more easliy dealt with, or cured. ?? Has anyone been told there are different stage 4 cancers????

Thanks for your help


I was diagnosed w/ scc in june of 2008.

was immediatly told i have to get on chemo/rad

or it would be full blown in 4 months.

( with the experience of chem/rad with six family members

after treatment, no quality of life, and still lost them

after these treatments) i said NO!!!

  I have managed my SCC with the budwig diet.

and I have been able to have a quality of life where no one has to take care of me.

chemo only helps four different kinds of cancer

doesn't cure any, why destroy your body with RAT poisin.

TOO much money in it to find a cure.

the cure is in your diet.

old sarge,'nam vet,'68,'70

RE: Squamous Cell Carcinoma tonsils

by dzabor on Thu Feb 26, 2015 03:04 PM

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I was just diagnosed with the same cancer, and the same treatment, 5 days a week for radiation, + chemo every 3 weeks.  Surgery is sometimes part of the treatment.  I had sepsis 7 years ago and almost died.  Having surgery in the mouth and neck to remove the lympth nodes is not an option for me...  does lots of damage to neck and radiation is more painful with surgery first.  Remember, always ask what your quality of life will be with our without the treatment plans.  Make a decision right for you.  Have a good attitude, that gets you past the shock. 

Stage IV in the neck is not the same as stage IV in other parts of the body.  Know this is a treatable cancer, and if you never smoked, a very high success rate.  I have seen 3 specialists.  Be encouraged, you will get through this, and so will I.

RE: Squamous Cell Cancer

by plines on Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:23 PM

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MD Anderson is absolutely the very best for Head and Neck Cancers.  In fact, there are only a few Medical centers in the country that actually focus on Head and Neck Cancer. I was initially worked up by a Head and Neck Surgeon (different from an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor) at a major University Hospital in California. He proposed a treatment plan that included multiple other medical professionals, Dental Oncologist, Plastic-Reconstructive Surgeon and Radiation Therapist.  Only the Head and Neck Surgeon was located at the University Medical Center, all others were in private practice outside the Medical Center.  I asked for a second opinion and was referred to MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Mayo Clinic, Rochester as the major centers that focus on Head and Neck Cancers.  I chose MD Anderson and I can tell you, the team there is unique in this type of medicine.  All the specialists I mentioned as well as Dental Oncologists, Speach Pathologists, nutritionists among many are located on campus in Houston. MD Anderson has so many support services from housing assistance, translators, foreign visa assistance, social workers, peer assistance. I could go on and on!  I am 3 years out from a total maxillectomy for squamous cell carcinoma.  I have a unique prosthesis in my mouth and my friends and family really can not tell that most of my upper jaw is missing.  I speak normally, eat normally and am so thankful for these amazing people.  As a side note, I had some facial lymphedema which in other parts of the body is not reversible. However, the Speech Pathology folks have figured out a way to get rid of this permanently.  It's about a 3 month process of gentle massage and wearing a special compression mask several hours each day.  I completed the treatment 2 1/2 years ago and no recurrence.

The take away from all this is get treated at a major University Medical Center that has a specific program to treat Head and Neck Cancer. It is unique and somewhat rare and deserves the most specialized treatment.  If they offer you a clinical trial, take it, I did!

All the best for more cures to all who need them.

RE: Squamous Cell Cancer

by Sdurnell on Wed Jul 22, 2015 04:54 AM

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I'm happy that your treatment at Anderson worked for you.  It sounds like your cancer was more complicated than most here, so going to a special center made sense for you.

My cancer was more straightforward and I chose to have my treatment done at a cancer center in the closest city of any size to us.  I could not have afforded to live away from home for the duration of my treatment, and I certainly would have had a terrible time without my local support system.  I also had a neck surgeon do the surgery, and have done well.

It's great that there is such a wide range of facilities that can handle these cases for us.


RE: Squomous Cell Carcenoma

by missfather on Wed Jul 22, 2015 08:14 PM

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Hi Shannibell...very disturbed to hear eating candy and icecream will cause cancer to return!!?? Please..where do you get this info ...I'm finally able to eat somethings again so I eat what I can ..icecream every night after a small meal and I enjoy any sweets that are moist...sometimes I'll put a cookis in icecream to soften it or add dark chocolate ...I had Squamouscel carc in nasal septum 35 radiations head,neck, lymphnodes........I dont think glucose causes cancer ..please clarify ..theres a lot of misinformation on here...I was told my can came from saw dust as I worked as a renovation carpenter for 25 years ...was a heavey drinker years a go ..quit that 14 years ago ..quit tobacco in treatment and now enjoy one cannibus cig each pm to aid in appitite and sleep .......I know sugar has been getting a bad rap ..but cuases cancer to come back!! 

RE: Squomous Cell Carcenoma

by jalind on Thu Jul 23, 2015 04:17 AM

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On Jul 22, 2015 8:14 PM missfather wrote:

Hi Shannibell...very disturbed to hear eating candy and icecream will cause cancer to return!!?? Please..where do you get this info ...I'm finally able to eat somethings again so I eat what I can ..icecream every night after a small meal and I enjoy any sweets that are moist...sometimes I'll put a cookis in icecream to soften it or add dark chocolate ...I had Squamouscel carc in nasal septum 35 radiations head,neck, lymphnodes........I dont think glucose causes cancer ..please clarify ..theres a lot of misinformation on here...I was told my can came from saw dust as I worked as a renovation carpenter for 25 years ...was a heavey drinker years a go ..quit that 14 years ago ..quit tobacco in treatment and now enjoy one cannibus cig each pm to aid in appitite and sleep .......I know sugar has been getting a bad rap ..but cuases cancer to come back!! 

missfather . . .

You're exactly correct in your skepticism about sugar causing, contributing to, or "feeding" cancer. The claims that it does so are the stuff of Urban Legend, perpetuated by Bogus Science and web sites touting bogus alternative cancer treatments that claim to eliminate sugar from your body. The source of this is typically attributed to the use of very short half-life radioactive glucose as a tracer for PET scans after (typically) 24 hours of complete fasting and zero physical exertion. See Snopes.com , MD Anderson's web site, the Mayo Clinic's web site, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute's web stie (just to name four), all have articles discussing this Urban Legend That Won't Die . . . one that I wish people would quit perpetuating on this forum.

Eliminating all sugar from your body would quickly kill you. Your brain cannot survive long without any glucose. Unlike other parts of your body, it has ZERO capacity to store the glucose it burns at a furious rate as is evidenced in any PET scan that takes in a portion of the brain. Your heart also burns glucose at a furious rate and it will also light up like a beacon in a PET scan. *Excessive* sugar intake will result in weight gain, and if that causes or contributes to being overweight or obese, that isn't good for anyone's general health and well being, just as a completely sedentary lifestyle isn't good either.


RE: Squomous Cell Carcenoma

by Sdurnell on Thu Jul 23, 2015 04:40 AM

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Please don't take this stuff to heart.  There is misinformation all over the internet and in "health" food and supplement stores that scare people out of their wits.  

The "sugar feeds cancer" idea is a very prominent one, but it is not particularly true.  Cancer is a part of our bodies, and as such whatever feeds our bodies feeds the cancer.  And cancer cells are particularly adept at getting nourishment, which is why they grow so fast.  So everything you eat will feed the cancer, be it sugar, protein, organic veggies, or junk food.  So, while sugar does feed cancer if it's already there, it does not cause cancer and it does not make it grow more rapidly than other sources of calories.

I'm not saying that sugar is good for you--there is lots of evidence otherwise.  But let's not demonize it more than that.  An occasional Snickers or dish of ice cream is not going to give anyone cancer, make anyone's cancer return, or make a cancer grow faster.

Trust science, not internet memes.


RE: Squamous Cell Carcinoma -Survivor

by Proxielocks on Thu Jul 23, 2015 05:15 AM

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On Mar 12, 2004 12:00 AM Ronald_B_3 wrote:

Hi everyone, I would like to thank all the people that had written me during this past year, a year that was at times unbelievable with what I was going through, how could I have cancer, I was always healthy, going to the gym three times a week, a secure job and a beautiful wife that’s always been by my side for the last twenty seven years, plus living in paradise on the island of Maui. What more would you want. Well I had something I wouldn't wish on anyone, my doctor let me know over a cell phone conversation that I had carcinoma, I said what? and he yelled back to me with a chuckle that I had Squamous Cell Carcinoma, CANCER! and not to miss my doctor’s appointment that he set up with a head and throat doctor, so I said ok and left it at that until I did heard it from my new doctor and friend! It’s been a year since my surgery on my throat and nine months since my last radiation treatment. I'm back to my normal weight 175lbs from 158lbs at my lightest, my throat is still burnt from the radiation and it still hurts to swallow once in a while and my taste is about 60% back, candy and ice cream and some foods will loose their taste after a couple of bites but if that’s all I have to live with then let it be. I have been free of cancer so far, have been told this is an incurable cancer but I don't let it influence my everyday life, I know one day it may come back, but I have set that thought on the back burner, I've have a life to enjoy and that’s just what I'm doing through prayers and having faith in myself and God.

Ronald it has been 6 1/2 years since my husband was diagnosed with throat cancer. He has been though hell and back with it. Andy was at work in December 2008 when he too received a phone call from his doctor saying that he had stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma CANCER!! I couldn't believe it when he told me. I said your telling me he told you over the phone!!! Andy had always ate healthy, he ran 7 miles a day, and was never sick. That all changed in December 2008, starting his 35 treatments radiation and 3 chemo threatment of cisplatin. The doctor said he has a 20% of survival. Andy had a neck dissection where they took out all hislymph nodes the left side of his neck. If the cancer had not metalized to the lymph nodes there could be a 50% survival rate.Andy had a peg tube for 18 months and had begun to eat some of the foods he loved so much. At 5 1/2 year he started to collect all this foam in his throat, his speech is slurred. He has to drink a lot of HOT water with anything that he eats. He has a very difficult time eating now. Before the cancer his weight was about 205. He now weights 140 pounds. He just can't seem to gain any weight. I make him protein smoothies every day he drinks about 3-4 glasses a night. He eats a LARGE bowl of ice cream every night, summer and winter.

We too have a life to enjoy. We love going to see theater plays. We run in the Wharf to Wharf race every year in Santa Cruz to Capitola. Andy has ran it every year on Sunday it will be his 28th year and my 11th year. We just got back from a two week inland & cruise to Alaska. I wish Andy had your faith in God like you do and I do but he doesn't. Hope that will change someday. I know you are not that far out from your treatments. I pray that you don't get all the side effects from the radiation like Andy has gotten. The doctor told him it is from all the radiation.

God Bless you,


RE: Squamous Cell Carcinoma -Survivor

by Dlynn1210 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:18 AM

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Hi Patty I was diagnosed in July 2007 with tonsil cancer and given a 50/50 chance of survival. I don't believe ever hearing that you have cancer is easy to hear in person or on the phone. My oncologist said that ten years before cisplatin was discovered it would have been a death sentence. I have a lot of difficulty eating but throat dilations are very helpful for about a year. I'm overdue now and having major problems. I had always been mindful of healthy eating and exercise so it was a huge surprise. My faith got me through with a calmness that surprised some of my friends. I look at this as God's blessing because so many are diagnosed with a type of cancer that is not cureable. I was back with my Florida Disaster Relief Team a year post treatment, have been to Bolivia, St. Lucia several times. Jamaica, and Philadelphia on mission trips. We take one or two cruises a year - one in Jan we use one day in Haiti to visit orphanages and one last year to Alaska for relaxation. I don't think I will ever have to worry about overweight. I do have some slurring of speech which is embarrassing but still a small price to pay to be cancer free. Wishing everyone the best and always remember you in my prayers. Diana
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