I was initially diagnosed with stage I tongue cancer for which a 2cm tumour was removed by glossectomy and proved 6mm deep. So it was decided I required a neck dissection.
However the results have come back showing 2 nodes containing cancer cells despite they did not show up on either an MRI nor CT.
I am due to start radiotherapy but does this mean because it is metastatic I am actually grade III?
The surgeon is surprised by the results as he was pretty adamant I would prove clear based on the scan results but hasn't explained what stage I realistically am.
Because I have gone from thinking it had been caught early enough to suddenly understanding it had already begun to spread I'm not sure what to think. I appreciate 2 nodes is a very small percentage which is a good sign as such but am I to now understand my survival/reoccurrence prognosis has lowered?
I am also wondering how my SLE will react with missing lymphs and with radiotherapy. I am already on prednisolone and azathioprine for 34 years and cannot be put forward for chemotherapy. The surgeon cannot answer my questions as it isn't his area and my rheumatologist hasn't bothered to see me since 2019 despite I am supposed to be reviewed every 6 months.
Immunology also do not understand why I have lymphopenia but am not catching numerous viruses but haven't investigated. Could the lymphopenia be a cause of the long term immunosuppressive medication or the SLE and could the cancerous ulcers have come about because of the SLE which nobody paid any attention to despite I did alert people or because of the lymphopenia?