In December 2018, after months of mouth pain from what I thought was a simple mouth ulcer, I was diagnosed with oral cancer of the tongue and had surgery in January to remove the tumor. Upon biopsy, we learned that my cancer was particularly aggressive and earned the title of Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the tongue. Shortly thereafter, I entered a vigorous 6 week treatment regimen, complete with 2 rounds of chemo and daily radiation. I'm happy to say that I successfully completed treatment on April 10th and am on the road to recovery.
I am not the typical oral cancer patient and don't have the "usual" risk factors. According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, for more than a decade there has been an annual increase in occurrence of oral cancers and someone dies every hour of every day from this disease. More research, education and advocacy is needed in order to better understand and prevent the development of oral cancer in young adults like me. Drew & I signed up to run this 5K supporting OCF and we hope you'll consider donating to the cause in order to try to change the outcome for future oral cancer patients.