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Andrew C's Profile

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Biography

Diagnosed with cancer in my right tonsil in June 2009 at age 53. Underwent 7 weeks of radiation, 5 times a week, and 3 chemo sessions. Lost about 40 lbs, about half intentionally. First follow-up petscan showed significant reduction and second petscan after 6 months was clean. Subsequenbt petscan follow-up in July 2009 revealed cancer was back and had spread to my tongue. My only option was surgery which we elected to have done at Johns Hopkins with Dr. Christine Gourin and Dr. Jeremy Richmon who are considered the best for this type of cancer. In Sept 2010 I had the radical tonsilectomy, neck dissection and removal of the lymph nodes from the right side of my neck. Complications while still in the hospital required additional surgery for pec flap placement and external carotid artey ligation in Oct. Everyone on Dr.Gourin and Dr.Richmon's team were terrific, especially Dr.Chang, Dr.Smith, Dr.Chou and Dr.Mener and NP Carol Mangus. Also the entire staff at Weinberg Pavion 4A were fantastic and really took care of me for the month I was there. They all well earn their reputation as the BEST. UPDATE March 2012 - regretfully my cancer came back first in August 2011, a small lymph node near my thyroid and a pseudo aneurysm in my carotid where my surgery was in 2010. Went back to J.Hopkins and they removed the lymph node and decided not to touch the aneurysm at that time. In Dec 2011 new test revolved the pseudo aneurysm have greatly increased but no further signs of spreading. Had coils placed to resolve the aneurysm however turned out that the cancer had also returned and grew too. It was probably there in August but not spotted. Additional surgery, cyber knife, re- radiation are all out. Chemo will only be palliative and will likely have quality of life side effects. I was recently accepted to a clinical trial and praying for that miracle that the drug will be the cure, at least reduce the tumor and slow it down. In God's Hands and I'm good with that.

Vital Info

Posts

January 4, 2011

matthews, North Carolina 28105

January 16, 1956

Cancer Fighter

Cancer Info

Tonsil Cancer

July 4, 2009

Stage 4

3.1 - 4.0 cm

Positive

No

Yes

Everything but especially the mental and emotional impact to my family.

Maybe my experience can benefit someone else more then it has me

Clinical trial started Feb 2012

Started clinical trial Feb 2012" Genteach trial MPDL3280a, protocol # PCD4989g. Anti body, I am their first head and neck cancer participant. Trial is being run at various locations in the U.S., I am in the Huntersville N.C. Trial. They are looking for more head, neck or cervical cancer patients to participate. Especially HPV related.

Carolina BioOncology Huntersville N.C. 704-947-6599

Having an advocate to deal with the insurance companies, doctors and hospitals is essential. My wife Hildi has been my greatest advocate and the one who researches everything and knows all the medical terms, treatments,etc. I could never do it without her.

I felt as if a had to constantly clear my throat and had trouble sleeping on my left side or back. I was originally diagnosed with sleep apnyea in 2008 and it was only a year later during a visit to mu chiropractor that he noted an enlargement of my right tonsil. I consulted my GP doctor and my dentist who only asked if it hurt, it didn't, and said they would not recommend getting my tonsils out at age 53. It was 3 months later that I had any pain and finally went to an ENT specialist who sent me for the tests that revealed the cancer.

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