Oral Cancer Story
The following story is true. It is being shared with you to emphasize the importance of an oral cancer screen.
I am 33 years old and was recently diagnosed with squamous cell oral cancer (no Doc, I'm not a smoker, and I don't dip). This blog is designed to help me relieve some stress and keep family and friends updated on my treatment progress.
Submitted by Kellie Wohltman
Daniel passed away recently. Early thirties, marathon runner, singer, no risk factors. Daniel went from healthy to death in 5 months…his disease detected late, now his life ended early!
Several weeks ago, I introduced you to Daniel. One of my coworkers in Nashville became acquainted with Daniel’s story through a mutual acquaintance at one of her dentist’s office there in Nashville.
I continue to read his blog to follow his daily (or almost daily) journaling. His blog entry is sometimes humorous, sometimes tear-jerking, but ALWAYS faith-filled. Today, he says it took him several hours to type as he described his first round of chemo and radiation therapy and the overall battle (like Jacob wrestling all night with the angel, it seems) that he is fighting with every ounce of courage, faith, medical and emotional therapy he can. I remind you of Daniel for several reasons:
- 33 years old healthy male with no risk factors
- He was first diagnosed on May 4 with SCC. (Lesion – lateral border of the tongue) Less than eight weeks ago, and his life will never be the same.
- We say the word “cancer” so casually…………at least I know I do…..many times every day….I need the daily reminder of what Daniel is going through so this does not all become rhetoric.
- In today’s posting, Daniel says he’s lost 16 pounds in two months…tongue hurts too bad too eat….his body is fighting nausea. This week they are going to insert a stomach tube. I want you to remember………8 weeks ago he was a “healthy” 33 year old young man……….I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH TO YOU AS CLINICIANS……..ORAL CANCER IS A HIDEOUS DISEASE.
- Even though we say we are screening for oral cancer……….OUR PATIENTS WIN WHEN WE FIND PREMALIGNANT LESIONS….I don’t want to miss oral cancer in my visual exam, but what I really am wanting to find is cellular change before it becomes oral cancer… This is something you want to stress to your patients. I believe my boss says that it takes a few years for cells to mutate from mild to moderate, and on to severe dysplasia before it becomes full-blown on oral cancer. Imagine if someone had detected Daniel’s lesion on his tongue 2 or 3 years ago…His story would be totally different, wouldn’t it?
- EVERY DAY………EVERY PATIENT….WE CAN PREVENT ORAL CANCER… We now have the ability to PREVENT ANOTHER DANIEL….It’s up to you.
Meet Daniel and become acquainted with the intimate details of his journey at http://patdanielsmith.blogspot.com/. Your life, your faith and your commitment to your patients (and Daniel) will be profoundly touched.
NOTE: The offices of Dr. Stacy Johnson Family Dentistry, Greenwood, Indiana 46143 include oral cancer screening as a standard procedure during oral exams. Save a life. It might be your own. Make an appointment today!