Cancer Leaves Woman's Face Disfigured

Playing Drs. Exclusive: Cancer Left Me Disfigured

Briana was diagnosed with cancer at just 20 years old. She is now cancer-free but is haunted by face disfigurement and missing teeth.

A blister in her mouth led to the discovery of a tumor in Briana's left sinus. She was diagnosed with clear cell odontogenic carcinoma cancer. A portion of her face had to be split to remove the tumor, along with removing 7 of her teeth, and a bone in her face. She says she feels like one side of her face looks "like a skeleton." She is also experiencing vision problems as her line of sight on one side of her face is different than the other. Briana is also forced to only chew on one side of her mouth and says she feels the need to always cover her mouth.

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"I just feel so uncomfortable and awkward. I don't know how to speak to people," she says, wondering, "I feel like I don't have a chance."

When meeting with clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho, Briana says she is not sure how to even be happy now and feels like cancer and being sick is so wrapped up in her identity and that it has consumed her life. She also shares that she is dealing with depression and anxiety, like she is trapped in her own mind and often feels a lack of self-worth.

One area of her life that she is happy about is her weight loss. She tells us that she has lost over 150 pounds. "That's the one thing that I could control. At least I could be making my body healthier," she tells Dr. Judy.

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In order to help Briana, we arrange for therapist Tara Cameron of Collaborative Counseling of Kingwood to work with her for the next 6 months, at no cost to her.

Also, dentist Dr. Kourosh Maddahi announces that he and his team will design a custom-made prosthesis to give her the ability to chew again and help restore her smile. Additionally, plastic surgeon Dr. Bob Basu offers to help repair the lost volume on her face.

Though Briana says she is nervous, she adds, "I'm excited looking forward to the possibility of changing my life."