Surviving Cancer

With Roy Emerson

It was 11 years ago that Roy Emerson and I were both diagnosed with prostate cancer and had successful surgery to remove it.  Both Roy and our senior tennis community were extremely helpful and supportive for me in knowing what to expect; and now, a well-known senior tournament player is looking for similar information….

He Writes …

I got some relatively bad news this week that I have throat cancer (talking too much!) in my tongue area and in node on side of my neck.  Naturally, I am hoping there are some reasonable treatments, but some of the radiation ones don’t sound too good. I am looking hard at “Proton Therapy”.

In the past you have got some good feedback from those who have had the same injuries/illness before and thought if you’re willing might be worth putting it out there to see if anyone knows something that would be helpful.

I hope to do my treatments soon and was planning on being in Naples for Month of March.  Thanks.”

Do you have any helpful input?

Seven Successive Championships

That is what Hank Irvine (and his partners) have accomplished by winning the Florida Super Senior Grand Prix event at Palm Aire in Sarasota this week.  For the full results, just click HERE.

Next Week: Is the bigger CAT II in St. Petersburg. For those seeds and draws, click HERE.

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com

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7 thoughts on “Surviving Cancer

  1. A good friend of mine had a very similar diagnosis about 17 years ago. He was about 65 at the time. I don’t know about Proton Therapy but my friend had surgery to remove lymph nodes and the combination of radiation and chemo. He is cancer free and still doing well. His sense of taste was gone for awhile but did return. The most uncomfortable part of his recovery were the burned out salivary glands from treatment. Eating was slow and methodical because it was necessary to sip water with every bite. However, those also recovered, but at a slower pace.

    Best of luck to your friend.

    Andy, thanks. George

  2. I would encourage him to take CBD oil it’s very helpful in cancer conditions
    You can buy it at most health food stores these days
    Also google it yourself and see the benefits I give it my daughter for her seizure condition

    Gail, thanks. George

  3. George, I wanted to send an evaluation of the Palme Aire tournament. From my viewpoint, it was near-perfectly run and a very pleasant venue. My matches were played on schedule without problem. Courts were well prepared, but were not swept for the 3rd set. (I didn’t have the presence of mind to request that they be swept, and had 3 3-set matches). On the courts I played on, there were covered areas with chairs to allow good viewing of matches. Water, Gatorade (plenty of both) and box lunches (sandwich – choice of ham, veggie, chicken… cookie and chips) were easy to pick up. The volunteers were helpful and hospitable. Tournament Director, Scott Thornton, did a good job of seeding and handling queries. Deserving of singular praise, , the tournament provided a qualified trainer whose services were free! Having cramped badly in my 1st match, Benefited the following day from a massage to my calves. Why isn’t this tournament evaluated, or is it? It deserves a very positive one.

    Nick, thanks for the review. We will probably do a survey on the last group of tournaments at the end. George

  4. I can only comment on proton therapy for prostate cancer. I investigated different treatment options and chose proton. I certainly have no regrets as PSA below 1.0 consistently since I was treated in 2009. The sequelae of incompetence and impotence are the reasons I went with Proton……with robotic there is a much higher percentage off both of these unwanted consequence to live with the rest of your life.

  5. As a cancer researcher and survivor (so far) of melanoma, my advice is that your friend seek a second opinion from an NCI-Designated Cancer Center [https://www.cancer.gov/research/nci-role/cancer-centers]. These are government-sponsored non-profit institutions that offer the most up-do-date information on diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing clinical trials. In the past few years there has been a shift from thinking about cancers not only by site-of-origin (e.g. breast, colon, lung, pancreas, prostate, throat), but also by the “driving” mutations (i.e. alterations in specific genes that cause the cancer to grow). For a number of these mutations, there are specific “targeted” therapies that often have less toxicity than “classical” chemotherapy. For cancers with high mutation burdens (e.g. melanoma, most lung cancers, some head and neck cancers, some colon cancers), there also some new “immune checkpoint” therapies that can stimulate one’s own immune system to attack the cancer. All of these new treatments are coupled with specific tests that help determine the likelihood of success. As usual, there is no “free lunch” and most therapies also have some risks to weigh. I would be wary about much of the advice one can find on the internet. Web sites I do recommend for your friend are those from the National Cancer Institute [https://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck] and the American Cancer Society [https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer.html].

    Joe, good stuff! Thanks. George

  6. George,
    As a retired physician, I can offer support and encouragement for your friend to keep up the positive attitude. I am confident that all of his buddies will all send their best, but useless, thoughts and prayers. I would hesitate to follow any suggestions from the uneducated, however, and offer this advice with the sincerest appreciation for their intentions. Everybody would like to help but you will find the best help from the specialists who deal with this problem as a matter of routine. Joe has provided excellent information. Encourage your friend to seek expert medical advice at any of the wonderful medical institutions that deal with cancer. The algorithm for managing this condition is relatively straightforward and your friend would be well served to keep an open mind about receiving advice that will likely include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

    Tom, good words. thanks, george

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