My dad is an oral cancer survivor and I would like to share his story.
Diagnosis. In 1987 my father was diagnosed with oral cancer. He was having pain in his jaw and thought his wisdom tooth was bothering him. He had a dental exam and panoramic X-ray taken and the dentist saw something abnormal in his jaw bone. They did a biopsy and the results were frightening. It was oral cancer.
Surgery. They wasted no time and he had surgery within 2 weeks. They removed his jaw bone to the center of his chin and removed some soft tissue as well. He went through radiation treatment afterwards.
Aftermath. The months following were harder than the surgery for my father and the family. He was angry because he could not work the way he had and the way he wanted. Nothing was the same. His taste was different, the feeling on his face wasn’t the same, and he had to adjust to not having teeth on right side of his mouth. We were able to find the help of a support group of people who were going through the same sort of treatment.
Cancer Free. I am proud to say that my dad survived oral cancer. It was hard and frightening, but he did it. He has been cancer free for 23 years and counting. I wanted to tell his story to let people know it can be done. You can beat this disease with courage, strength, and most of all support and love. You can’t give up.
Together we fight oral cancer. Together we save a life every hour.