Patient Comments: Larynx Cancer - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with larynx cancer.

Comment from: No More Old No. 7, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I am a 53 married male. Five weeks ago I went to see my GP to follow up on some blood work that I was suppose to take care of 6 months earlier and because the glands in my neck were swollen. The doctor sent me in for blood work and an ultrasound. My blood work was normal, but the ultrasound showed a mass. Two days later during an ultrasound guided biopsy they found a second mass. Both masses were non-small cell carcinomas. My GP sent me to a EMT surgeon. The EMT doctor found the primary source of my cancer at the back of my tongue and against my voice box. Two days later I was in the operating room for another biopsy and possible surgery, but doctors elected not to do surgery due to the cancer was attached to my voice box. Since that time (10 days) I have had a PET scan, a PICC line installed and have met with both a radiation doctor and chemo doctor. I am scheduled to have a feeding tube put in next week and to start chemo and radiation on Tuesday. I am scheduled for radiation treatment 5 days a week for 7 weeks and chemo every three weeks for four treatments. If chemo and radiation cannot kill the cancer I am prepared for surgery and to have my voice box and the cancer removed. I only smoked for a short while (1 1/2 years) and have quit smoking since. I have not drank any alcohol for 14 months, but I was a very heavy drinker prior to that. I drank for 40 years, 25 of that heavily and the healthcare professionals I have spoke with have told me that the alcohol is the biggest contributor of my cancer. I am positive for HPV and as I understand it that helped my survival chances because the HPV virus seems to get effected by the chemo and radiation well. I am in good physical condition, I have a strong support group and I have a very positive attitude regarding this. Thank God I am sober and thank God that I found God before I was faced with cancer. While I was drinking I didn't care if I lived or died, now that I am sober and have a new way to live I want to live. With the help of loving friends, family, good doctors and faith in God I will make it.

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Comment from: silentangel, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I had for over a year been trying to get a Dr. to tell me why I got so short of breath when I carried grocery bags in from the car. I couldn't walk across a parking lot because I would start wheezing. My primary care physician found nothing, she did a chest X-ray which was clear. I had an episode of tachycardia that sent me to the ER, the cardiologist ran a gamit of tests, with pictures and stress test(by medication because I have arthritis in my knees and can't do the treadmill)and just gave me meds to slow my heart rate and lower my blood pressure. I had used a CPAP machine for 10 years for sleep apnea and on morning I woke up and removed the CPAP mask and began coughing and could not stop. Shortly became hard to get a breath so was taken by family to the ER. There I was treated for asthma, which I have never had, and it didn't help. They sent me for a CT scan of my neck and immediately called in the ENT on call. He scoped my throat and told me I had cancer of the larynx and sent me straight to the OR to have tracheotomy as my airway was only about 3mm. He referred me to the Head and Neck Cancer Center in another city and two weeks later I had my laryngectomy. Other than the breathing difficulty I had no other symptoms, but am very disillusioned with the medical profession, that I could see several different specialists in a year's time and no-one ever checked my throat. The type of cancer I had was very slow growing so had been there for at least that years' time. Fortunately I did not require chemo or radiation and now am speaking with a TEP. I only smoked for about 2 yrs, more than 35 years ago, but lived with a heavy smoker for 16 years before that. Was told that the type of cancer I had was probably not caused by smoking, but they don't know what did cause it.

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Comment from: GARY, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 07

I am a 42 year old male who had cancer of the larynx diagnosed in February of 1995. I had my entire vocal chords removed and 6 weeks of radiation. I had a stoma from which I breath from. It is now September, 2009 and I am still here. I was a very heavy smoker and drinker.

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Comment from: Patti, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 24

Two months ago, my boyfriend was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma (cancer in his voice box). He has never smoked, doesn't drink other than a beer, and doesn't have HPV. It is a mystery to the physicians. He was misdiagnosed by his ENT with stage 1, and when he went to his oncologist to start treatment, he was told it was stage 3. He has a full four days of chemo through a port every month for three months. He also has radiation therapy five times a week for 15 minutes. From the stories I read, this sounds like an alarming amount. He is ready to go nuts from the side effects, although he is diligent with his oral cleaning and rest.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 11

4 years ago I sent my boyfriend to and allergist because his voice was getting very rough and he had a "itch" cough that wouldn't go away. I couldn't stand him suffering if it wasn't necessary. They told us he had cancer of the larynx, it took my breath away. CANCER! We didn't know what to do. The doctors referred him to a cancer doctor, and another and another. It seemed hopeless, but we finally found one that worked. They told him that we caught it early so it looked good. He went in for radiation for 6 weeks. They said it should be gone, it wasn't. So they had him do chemo then 7 more weeks of radiation. It got rid of it alright. He finally got so fried that he coughed up his vocal cords little by little. It was the most painful thing for him and for me. I couldn't do anything to help. He can't even eat now, there's nothing to digest the food. They didn't take us seriously, until he was in the hospital with pneumonia because food and drinks went in his lungs so bad he almost died. He is now on a feeding tube, he can't drink pop, enjoy food or try his son's fresh baked cookies. He pumps in ensure 2 times a day for the rest of his life. He can't even take medicine with out grinding it up and then putting it in his "food", or swallow his own spit! So if you know someone who has been diagnosed with this please tell them how important it is to not smoke, drink, and try to take it slow. Research you doctors and please be involved in they're treatment, patients get lost and tossed to the side so easily. I was there every visit for the first 6 months then he wouldn't let me. I know he felt smothered, but it all went down hill after that.

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Larynx Cancer - Symptoms and Signs Question: What are the symptoms and signs of your larynx cancer?
Larynx Cancer - Treatment Question: What treatments have you received for your larynx cancer?

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