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#56362 04-18-2005 09:36 AM
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Just curious if anyone who has had radiation and/or a radical neck dissection has ear pain.

I was just reading somewhere on here that the radiation can affect nerves around the ear over time. I've been numb on the lower portion of my ear and parts of my neck since the surgery last summer. But also, it hurts -- sharp pain even -- if say the barber moves my ear when he's giving me a haircut or my daughter tugs at my ear.

Just wondering what this might be and if I should be alarmed that it's something more...

Eric


Tongue cancer (SCC), diagnosed Oct. 2003 (T2 N0 M0). Surgery to remove tumor. IMRT Radiation 30x in Dec 2003 - Jan. 2004. Recurrence lymph node - radical neck dissection June 2004. Second round of rad/chemo treatments ended Sept. 2004.
#56363 04-18-2005 10:04 AM
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Hi Eric; I've had both and it wasn't until after the surgery that my rt ear started making its presence known. Like yours, mine is numb around the outside, but I do get occasional pain which darts through the inner part of the ear. Sometimes I have to adjust the way I sleep if on my rt side because the ear aches.
If your pain is something new or is causing you some concern take it to the Doc and get it checked out. I'd rather make ten "nothing" visits to get peace of mind than sit at home "dying" of curiousity.
All the best to you,
Fran


SCC Base of tongue diag. April 04 Stage IV, mets to rt. neck multiple nodes 35 rads+8 boosts First recurrence Jan05. Rt.rad neck dissection Feb02/05. Recurred with bone mets in neck July 05.
Committed to survival with dignity.
#56364 04-18-2005 10:11 AM
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Hi Eric
After surgery I found it difficult to use the phone, I couldn't tell where the earpiece was, now if I pull my ear I feel it under my chin, as a woman, very difficult to get earrings in, I was told they have to sacrifice a nerve for surgery but that the small nerves slowly grow back. Maybe in time we will get used to it.
Sunshine... love and hugs
Helen


SCC Base of tongue, (TISN0M0) laser surgery, 10/01 and 05/03 no clear margins. Radial free flap graft to tonsil pillar, partial glossectomy, left neck dissection 08/04
#56365 04-18-2005 02:18 PM
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I don't recall having sharp ear pain, but from time to time I get an annoying dull pain in the ear canal that generally turns out to be hard wax that needs to be removed at the local clinic. My understanding is that this is relatively common post-radiation.

Helen -- I can confirm what you've heard about the small nerves. I had areas around my left ear and neck that I thought would be permanently numb after treatment, and it literally took years for some of the nerves to grow back, but they did!

Cathy


Tongue SCC (T2M0N0), poorly differentiated, diagnosed 3/89, partial glossectomy and neck dissection 4/89, radiation from early June to late August 1989
#56366 04-18-2005 11:37 PM
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Hi Eric,

I had shooting pain from my jaw to the right ear and I had a couple of things causing it. One was the fact that my bottom teeth were realigning themselves (from perfectly straight to now crooked) from surgery and the other factor was that I had ear infections in both ears and my ENT has since put tubes in my ears for drainage. Once my teeth "settled down" and my ears were drained, the pain pretty much went away. I occasionally do get a shooting pain but not constantly. If in doubt, go see your doctor - as Cathy said, it could be ear wax causing you discomfort.

Hugs, Nancy


Stage IV oral cancer (tongue), T3N2, total glossectomy with right and left modified neck dissection 7/03, rad /chemo ended 11/03
#56367 04-19-2005 01:38 AM
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hi eric have very much the same going on with my right ear since surgery and radio therapy before op ifeel as my eare is thick and stuck out cant even bere heare phones on early days for me i suppose but it did cross my mind after r/therapy something was not right

#56368 04-20-2005 10:48 AM
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Hi Eric:
Ear pain was one of my husbands main symptoms prior to dx in 12/04. He is, once again, having some minor ear pain....intermitant....He finished rad and chemo the first of March. He has not had surgery, so I guess his experience won't help you out here. Was the ear pain one of your initial symptoms too? Did you ever experience anything like that after your first round? Dan has an appt with his ENT on Friday, so we will get it checked out then. I'm sorry I'm not more of a help to you. Dan also complains of the constant ringing in his ears.....I guess that is from the Cisplatin. Has that been a problem for you at all?

I read that you recently moved back to NC and are in Apex? We live in Apex also......and I was wondering if you have found a great dentist in the area? Had his treatments at UNC and has never been thrilled with any dentist he has gone to in this area. Can you help out Neighbor?????

Thanks,
Michelle G.


Michelle

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