Radiation treatments for cancer will sometimes be used to remove any remaining skin cancer or tumors after surgery and/or chemotherapy.
Radiation may be an option when melanoma has spread to internal organs.
Side effects of radiation treatment can vary with each individual according to the dosage administered.
With me, I had already received chemotherapy which reduced my squamous cell skin cancer tumors significantly; however they began to grow again.
At that point, the doctors told me surgery would be needed in order to remove the new tumor growth. It was a 12 hour long operation and the next day I was told they were able to remove 98% of it.
So of course, I was 98% happy and that’s not enough.
It hit me as a very heavy weight to bear, especially because my final option was now radiation. I was already very weak from the treatments I had just finished.
But this was one of those times when radiation treatment for cancer is what seemed to be needed to remove the final 2%.
I didn’t want to think about it; I didn’t hesitate and I told the doctors to go ahead.
My new radiation treatment for skin cancer lasted 30 days and I know the dosage was very strong. After my first few treatments I would start vomiting within 5 minutes of leaving the radiation treatment room.
The 30 days were extremely rough and they seemed to take forever, but at the end I was told that ALL of the cancer was GONE.
That was great news ...a relief, but I was in too bad of shape to be jumping up and down.
The oncologist gave me a 10 year span of survival. It just made me determined to go beyond 10 years.
I’m happy to say that I have over 20 years behind me now.
Recovering was hard and it took patience and a positive attitude to make me see that each day I was getting a little stronger.
At the very beginning of my cancer I had determined to follow a very healthy lifestyle. I know that has played a major part in my recovery and survival. A healthy lifestyle is for everyone and one shouldn’t wait until they are sick. BELIEVE ME, you can enjoy your life a whole lot more if you have your health.
Health should be right near the top of your priorities, under Love. In fact, it’s an extension of Love.
I’m not trying to be philosophical, but really, I say that because I can still spend time with those that I love.
Without God, none of what I went through would have been possible.
It is usually used:
• On tumors that are too large or deep to be removed by surgery.
• If a persons age or condition of health prohibits other procedures.
• On skin cancers that have recurred after surgery.
• On areas of the body, such as the nose, eyelid or ears, that are difficult to treat with other procedures.
• To relieve symptoms and not cure.
When other treatments for skin cancer have failed to remove all of the cancer, then removing the rest with radiation treatment decreased, significantly, the chance of recurrence.
It was a success for me.
Some effects begin immediately, as was the case with me, such as vomiting, nausea and extreme fatigue.
The possibility still exists that a new cancer growth may begin.
If a skin cancer does recur it may be harder to treat successfully, having once received 30 days of radiation treatments for cancer.
My jaw area was radiated and left a defined line going from hairless to a full beard.
It totally dried up my saliva glands and was hard to get used to a dry mouth. Over the years, a lot of my saliva has returned.
After roughly 12-13 years had passed, my masseter muscle (jaw muscle) actually lost all of its elasticity and hardened up, due to my radiation treatments for cancer.
I could not open my mouth. This was a long term side effect.
An oral surgeon and an ENT surgeon worked together and removed the muscle.
With the remaining muscles, I am still able to open and close my mouth, but not as wide as normal. This has not created a problem eating because I already had a feeding tube in my stomach, and still do today.
Again you can read about this in my story.
Things for you to remember.
Before ever being told you have skin cancer, You Can Prevent It. You can do self skin exams and when you see something suspicious have it checked out by a professional. After the age of 40-50 you should be checked annually by a professional.
Skin Cancer is Highly Curable if Detected Early and Treated Properly.
You can always take control of your own health, even if you already have skin cancer. Live a healthy lifestyle and consult with your doctor when necessary.
Live each day to enjoy it.
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Updated July 1, 2015
"MELANOMA : “NO BIG DEAL ” IT'S JUST SKIN CANCER!
Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick
Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly
Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie
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The Weather Channel has done well posting this information and photos to help you spot skin cancer, including melanoma.
It can be hard to spot, even for a professional.
The bottom line is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If necessary, get a second opinion and/or request a biopsy. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t put your very life at risk!