Sunday, February 17, 2008

Alternative Treatment Plan For my Oral Cancer

After receiving the news of the type of surgery I was going to have to recieve, I decided to do my own research. I was looking for anything that would cure or perhaps offer a safe yet alternative treatment plan for my oral cancer. What would it be or where would it be? I had no idea but was determined to find out.

After searching the internet and looking at articles that people would give me, I found a different plan of action. It was found at the University of Pennsylvania. That is right, good ol' Philly. It was here that I found out about the Transoral Robotic Surgery.

Also known as TORS, this offers the same outcome of the microvascular free flap without all the trama and longer hospital stay I was briefed on originally.

  • Reduced pain and trauma to the body
  • Less blood loss and need for transfusions
  • Less post-operative pain and discomfort
  • Less risk of infection
  • Short hospital stay
  • Faster recovery and return to normal daily activities
  • Less scarring and improved cosmesis
  • No Scar and no tracheotomy, all done within the mouth by robotics and little cameras
So I called the Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery on my own. I got my file from my surrent ENT and faxed it to them. I talked to a nurse who talked to Dr. Bert O'Malley who reviewed my file and said I may be a good candidate for the new procedure. I am to have some tests done here and I am going up on March 10,2008 for an MRI and consult. I will have a minor surgery on March 11, 2008 so they can size the cancer and see if I meet the criteria for the Robotic Surgery. One disqualifier is that you can not have had any radiation or Chemotherapy treatments. Thank God I have not have had any of that as yet.

I never thought I would say this, but I am really excited about this surgery. I hope and pray that this is the answer to prayer. If I had to have a procedure done, this is the way I would prefer. I shall keep you all posted on the results of those findings.

I have also read about a natural product called Avé. A dietary supplement containing Avemar, a uniquely beneficial natural compound that has been the subject of more than 20 peer-reviewed publications describing in vitro, in vivo and human clinical trials, with such dramatic results, its hard to believe that it is all natural.

Once daily use is shown to support healthy immune system modulation and the regulation of cell metabolism, supporting the processes of cell differentiation and repair. It has not been apporved by the FDA because it is all natural and therefore can not be patened. However private studies show that it does reduce the Squamous Cell Carsonoma by up to 85 percent. It also is said to reduce the side affects of Chemo dramatically.

I not started taking this as yet, I do not want to hurt my chances with the TORS, plus it is 161.00 for a 30 day supply. I am investagating this more, so I will keep you posted as to what I may find and how it may or may not work in conjuction with regular treatments.

Green tea stops growth of oral cancer cells and breaks down and kills existing oral cancer. The polyphenols in tea areantioxidants, which work to remove free radicals (oxidants) which cause the mutation of genes which lead to cancerous growth. By drinking 4 to 6 cups of green tea a day the polyphenols can inhibit the growth and spread of cancerous cells. The results of research at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, USA indicated compounds in green tea selectively induced cell death only in oral cancer cells while ignoring normal cells.In China where green tea is extremely popular, oral cancer rates are 1/2 that of North America, even though smoking rates- a known risk factor for oral cancer - are 3 times higher in China

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Denny said...

I just came across your blog and was husband and I went through the same path in October of 2006 and he was patient #75 done by Dr. Weinstein at Penn (or as we like to call him "Obi Wan Kenobi".) The care we received at Penn was SPECTACULAR in all respects and Dr. Weinstein truly has the hands of God. My husband had 1 positive lymph node, but decided against radiation. Here we are, going on 18 months, after a stage III base of tongue cancer, and all is well. You are a courageous man for having done what you've done in raising awareness, and I would urge anyone out there who has tonsillar or base of tongue cancer to have their tumor tested for HPV-16, the same virus that causes cervical cancer. I've done a huge amount of reading and it would appear that there are 2 different types of oral cancer--the kinds that show up in patients who have been hard drinkers and smokers and those that aren't (of which my husband was one.) He was, however, HPV 16+, and this type of oral cancer seems to respond better to radiation and chemo than non-HPV 16+ oral cancer. Johns Hopkins is doing clinical trials and the data are not yet out, but other, more preliminary studies are encouraging. For anyone out there who has just been diagnosed, PLEASE CALL DR. WEINSTEIN or O'MALLEY at UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA. These are the best guys in the WORLD for treating this hideous cancer and they may be able to save your face and your life. Their number is 215-349-5390 and you will speak to Lauren, Tish or Tamika. They are all GREAT!

John, keep up the great work, and if I can be of any service to anyone out there who has this terrible cancer, in guiding you through it, please let me know. I was, for many years, a critical care nurse trained at John Hopkins and although I am not an oncology nurse, I now kow much more than I ever want to. God bless you all. Tracey