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#199877 02-29-2020 07:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 4
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Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 4
I was wondering if anyone here has had experience of oral cancer in combination with diabetes (type 2).

My boyfriend is one of those people. He has cancer, stage iv, of the upper part of his mouth, left side. He had surgery about a month ago in which they basically removed the left roof of his mouth, along with 4 teeth. He also, in the same operation, had reconstructive surgery where they removed tissue from his leg to close the hole in the top of his mouth. They also removed all the lymph nodes from the left side of his neck, but non were cancerous. (As a result, he does not need chemotherapy.) The cancer was stage iv because it was found in the bone.

So the next step is radiation, beginning probably within a couple of weeks. I am very worried about his weight. He has lost about 15 pounds since the operation. The radiation doctor wants him to gain back all that weight, but I don't see how it's possible in two weeks! His appetite is not great. I know that loss of weight is a problem during radiation, so I am very worried.

The fact that he's diabetic does make it hard to get calories, because he has to be careful about carbs. It's hard to take lots and lots of calories that don't contain too many carbs! I was wondering if anyone has had experience with this problem.

(I should add that he is not overweight -- he is 5'11" and currently weighs 149 pounds.)


Last edited by CynthiaD; 02-29-2020 07:32 PM.
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,245
Assistant Admin
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)
Assistant Admin
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,245
At our hospital, the advice is to mix some powdered skimmed milk in with milk to increase the calories in each cup of milk the patient drinks, but since Hank is diabetic, I would not think this is appropriate for him. Do you have access to a dietitian at the hospital? This is a person you really need to talk to. He/she will make suggestions which are tailored to Hank’s health situation and can keep an eye on his weight as well as his blood sugar content. At the hospital, all the patients have a dietitian assigned. If Hank doesn’t have one, see if you can get a referral from his surgeon/RO or his family doctor. This is a good person to have on your side as he starts radiation.

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails... Elizabeth Edwards

Wife to John,dx 10/2012, BOT, HPV+, T3N2MO, RAD 70 gy,Cisplatinx2 , PEG in Dec 6, 2012, dx dvt in both legs after second chemo session, Apr 03/13 NED, July 2013 met to lungs, Phase 1 immunotherapy trial Jan 18/14 to July/14. Taxol/carboplatin July/14. Esophagus re-opened Oct 14. PEG out April 8, 2015. Phase 2 trial of Selinexor April to July 2015. At peace Jan 15, 2016.

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