OMS Patient Story

Apr 30, 2024 | admin

Patient Story: Surviving Head and Neck Cancer - And Remission 

For head and neck cancer survivor Amy, the road to diagnosis was rocky. “I knew that there was something serious happening to me,” Amy explains. “[My dentist and my primary doctor] did not take my concerns seriously and assured me that nothing was wrong.”

Despite this delay in receiving care, Amy immediately sensed that she could trust Dr. Deepak Kademani, her Head and Neck Oncologic Surgeon and an ABOMS Diplomate with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery. “As soon as I was in front of him, I knew I was in good hands. He listened to me, which is something the others did not do. I felt heard and I felt cared for,” she shares. 

Amy describes her conversations with Dr. Kademani as direct and honest, yet empathetic and concerned. “I want the facts - what is happening to me, what can we do to try to fix it,” Amy continued. This helped her to feel safe in the face of one of the most difficult times in her life. “[H]e instilled a confidence in me that I was in the right hands and if there was anyone who could help me, it would be him.”

When she had a recurrence of the cancer in 2015, Amy says she immediately knew she would go back to Dr. Kademani for treatment. “He supported me and encouraged me. And because of him, I have done so much living in the years since my diagnosis.” 

For patients who are facing a head and neck cancer diagnosis, Amy encourages finding an oral and maxillofacial surgeon they can trust. “[F]ind someone who not only listens to you but hears you,” she says. “Someone who will be frank with the information they provide to you and who makes you feel like you are a partner in the treating of your cancer.” 

When asked “how did your treatment with Dr. Kademani affect your life?” Amy quickly replied, “The simple answer is that this man saved my life, not once, but twice.” She explained that Dr. Kademani showed her what a “good doctor should be.” “He was honest with me from the beginning…He supported me and encouraged me.”

Living in remission, Amy views the physical signs of what she has been through are a source of pride. “As difficult as it will be, embrace your scars and other physical signs of your treatment. They are battle scars and a good reminder of everything you overcame.”