Blog

Head & Neck Cancer – Insights from Dr. Mike Milligan, a Survivor

Quick Summary of My Stage 4 Head & Neck Cancer

Hello. I am Mike Milligan. I am a general dentist in Illinois. I am a founding member, past board member, and past president of the American Academy for Oral & Systemic Health – the #1 organization in the world for bringing together physicians, dentists, and allied healthcare professionals for the better overall health of their patients. I am founder and president of OralSystemicLink.net, “Saving Lives through Oral-Systemic Health.”

On 7/9/19, I had my first nosebleed ever, a bad nosebleed that it took 1 ½ hours in the hospital to stop. My ear/nose/throat (ENT) physician told me if it happens again to come back. Then nearly a year later in mid-April, 2020, I had a second nosebleed, and on June 3 and June 4, 2020, I had two more nosebleeds. We did a CAT scan of my nasopharynx on 6/5/20, then biopsy on Thursday 7/9/20, then on Sunday 7/12/20, at 1:41pm I looked at my phone and saw the call coming in was from my ENT, and I knew it was not good. He gave me the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the nasopharynx. My ENT referred me to a local oncologist in our town, and after further testing I received a diagnosis of Stage 4a, T2, N3, MO, squamous cell carcinoma of the nasopharynx (behind my nose), metastasized to several areas down both sides of my neck. I had my treatment at the University of Chicago Medical Center. They gave me a 50/50 chance of surviving.

“Stages” of cancer:

  • Stage 0: There is no cancer, only abnormal cells with the potential to become cancer. Also called “carcinoma in situ.”
  • Stage I: The cancer is localized to a small area and hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or other tissues.
  • Stage II: The cancer has grown larger, but it hasn’t spread.
  • Stage III: The cancer has grown larger and has possibly spread to lymph nodes or other tissues.
  • Stage IV (=4): The cancer has spread to other organs or areas of your body.

My treatment consisted of 9 weeks of immunotherapy plus chemotherapy, with infusions every Friday. Then treatment continued with 6 ½ weeks of daily radiation (33 sessions), plus strong chemotherapy. I did not have surgery, as my cancer was behind my nose in a difficult place to do surgery. I am now 3 years cancer-free.

Get Aquoral

You are now leaving aquoralspray.com to obtain an online prescription in 3 easy steps:

  1. Create an account and answer a few intake questions
  2. Your information is reviewed by a licensed medical professional who will send it to the pharmacy for processing. The total charge is $99.
  3. Aquoral is shipped directly to you at no additional cost

Already registered? Log in here

Intake review will take place within 24 hours. Standard shipping times apply – your prescription will arrive in 3-5 days. Select states may be subject to a video call.

Convenient Packaging

Over-the-counter Dry Mouth products are often sold in large bottles due to the frequency of use. Prescription supersaturated calcium phosphate rinses come in foil packets which need to be mixed in a large quantity of water before use.

Aquoral comes in two convenient 10 mL spray bottles that easily fit in a pocket, purse, or on a night table.

No Rinse and Repeat

Many non-prescription Dry Mouth treatments and prescription supersaturated calcium phosphate rinses require rinsing and spitting out and should not be swallowed.

Aquoral is a discreet, easy-to-use spray.

Long-lasting

Aquoral’s formulation provides long-lasting relief. Finally, a solution that lubricates AND forms a protective layer that keeps moisture in the oral cavity.

Delivering sustainable relief for up to 6 hours.

Provides Relief

Most saliva substitutes hydrate and lubricate the oral mucosa providing temporary relief of Dry Mouth.

Aquoral’s OGT formulation creates a protective shield which, when used alone or combined with other Dry Mouth treatments, can lock in moisture, and enhance effectiveness.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry Mouth is a more serious medical condition than its name would suggest. In most cases, patients’ daily lives and oral health can be significantly compromised if their Dry Mouth is not discovered early and managed effectively. It can be caused or exacerbated by more than 700 medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. Patients with certain health conditions or medical treatments, such as Sjögren’s disease or head and neck cancer therapy often experience Dry Mouth.

Despite being a common medical condition, the signs and symptoms may go unnoticed in a routine oral exam. It has been reported that the incidence of Dry Mouth in the general population is as high as 65 percent.

Source: ADA Science Institute, C. (2017). Oral Health Topics: Dry Mouth (Dry Mouth). JADA. www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/Dry Mouth.