My husband was diagnosed with SCC on his lower left gum last January and underwent a mandibulectomy with free flap construction from his right leg. His margins were clean, his lymph nodes were clear and the doctors did not recommend any further treatment.

Two weeks ago, he went for follow-up scans and a tumor was found in his neck. They operated four days later and are now recommending a six week course of radiation with chemo. They want him to heal for six weeks so treatment will probably start early to mid-January of 2020.

On the advice of someone from this forum I asked the surgeon if my husband should give up drinking. The doctor was so adamant that he should, that I was surprised that I was the one who brought it up. My husband gave up drinking that day and he never smoked so that is not an issue.

I do not have the details on the proposed treatment yet. I am wondering if anyone has useful questions for me to ask the doctors about getting through these treatments, or advice for me to help him through it. He lost 20 pounds after the first surgery and does not want to gain them back, so I am afraid he will have trouble keeping his calories up, especially if he doesn’t feel like eating.

The other decision we are facing is whether to stay at the top CCC we are currently at or switch to another CCC which is close to our home. We have been very satisfied with the care he has gotten, and the surgeon also mentioned that he would try to get my husband into a clinical trial for immunotherapy (if one is available.). My husband is leaning toward doing the treatments close to home. I am not sure if we should switch at this point.

This recurrence has really shocked us -far more than the original diagnosis.

Husband DX’d 1/17/19 with SCC on lower left gum
Mandibulectomy 2/28/19
Recurrence 11/19