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Joined: Oct 2018
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Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
My Mom was just diagnosed with Stage IV jaw cancer. She is 86 year old smoker who also has COPD. The doctors are pushing mandible surgery from chin to earlobe for a tumor in the center of her jaw. We were told 8-10 hour surgery, 7-10 days in the hospital and a month in rehab. They initially said they would take a bone from her leg to replace the jaw. My mother decided she did not want to go through all that and then was told what to look forward to if she didn't. Extreme pain, tumor possibly growing outside of the jaw and draining and eventually needing a feeding tube. Then the doctor said there is another option, which is a plate instead of the bone with skin graft from her chest. He indicated the surgery and recovery times would be less. Now she is torn. She is in fair health condition, COPD, colitis, back issues but able to walk and care for herself as far as basic needs are concerned. We have not gotten a lot of information of the extent of the recovery process, it sounds like it is a long one. Any advice or honest opinions on the recovery process or overall process is greatly appreciated. Tough decisions..

Joined: Sep 2018
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Joined: Sep 2018
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So sorry to hear your Mom is going through all of this! I don't unfortunately have much advice other than what I've learned from being on this site, which is to try to get your mom's care from a cancer center. I attached the link below to see where there may be one in your area. Or, possibly, you may want to get a second opinion from a cancer center to see if they concur with what you have been told as far as treatment for this.

https://www.cancer.gov/research/nci-role/cancer-centers/find


Laura Age 40
Tongue lesion on left side grew and was hurting in mid-August
Dx as squamous cell carcinoma on 9.18.18
Left Neck Dissection and tongue surgery, lost a fourth of my tongue on 10.1.18, tumor had grown to a T3
Margins were clear except front section of tongue margin had three stray cancer cells that were not in the tumor
Additional surgery 10.18.18 to remove another cm near where the stray cells were found
33 radiation treatments from Nov 2018 through Jan 2019
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,024
"OCF Kiwi Down Under"
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"OCF Kiwi Down Under"
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,024
Linda, I too recommend a 2nd opinion from a large Comprehensive Cancer Centre. This is huge surgery for anyone, let alone an 86 year old who is already compromised by COPD. I know that if this was my Mother she would refuse and as her Power of Attorney I would support this decision. I feel that quality of life at this age is the ruling decision maker, rather than length of life.
This is an awfully hard decision and I don't envy you. Wishing you and your Mum the best outcome.
Tammy


Caregiver/advocate to Husband Kris age 59@ diagnosis
DX Dec '10 SCC BOT T4aN2bM0 HPV+ve.Cisplatin x3 35 IMRT.
PET 6/11 clear.
R) level 2-4 neck dissection 8/1/11 to remove residual node - necrotic with NED
Feb '12 Ca back.. 3/8/12 total glossectomy/laryngectomy/bilat neck dissection/partial pharyngectomy etc. clear margins. All nodes negative for disease. PEG in.
March 2017 - 5 years disease free. Woohoo!

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