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Laryngeal Cancer

Faith96's picture
Faith96
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2009

Long story short… My father was diagnosing with laryngeal cancer stage 4 (Aug 3) He had 2 options either to have Chemo/Radiation which the doctor couldn’t guarantee the cancer will be gone, or surgery. The surgery was a major one. It took 16 hr. He had a complete Larygectomy and bilateral neck dissection of the neck. He’s now a neck breather and will never be able to talk without a mechanical device. There was some lymph nodes that couldn’t be save. My father had a feeding tube in his nose for about 2 months. Once he took his swallow test and passed the removed his tube. My father ate well and was able to do everything normal but complained about the tightness he felt and how his jaws where so sore. The ENT stated that because he had a major surgery and hasn’t used his jaws in a while is why he was feeling uncomfortable. He was in and out of the hospital every weekend because of this.

Coming November I took him back to UTMB in Galveston because we notice he had a lump on the side of his neck. He has some drainage coming out too. To find out it was masses. The doctor studied it and notice his cancer was back, but worst then it was before. Surgery was not option only. Chemo/ Radiation. Because my father was in and out of the hospital, he would miss his consultation with the Chemo therapist. My father now has lost 27 lbs and has a lot of clear drainage coming out of his nose and its non stop. He has to use his suction machine all the time. His face is swollen from neck to cheeks. He complains about headache all the time. His hearing is not as well and his vision is slightly blurred. Now he’s complaining his whole entire body aches.

He has an appt. this coming wed 12/23/09 at MD Anderson in Houston TX with Doctor Jeffrey Myers. Hopefully he has some great news for my father about starting his Chemo. It was a TERRIBLE surgery to go through, but with the love, support, guidance and determination I know my father will do great.

junklady's picture
junklady
Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband has end stage laryngeal cancer. Two years ago he went through 7 weeks radiation. The cancer seemed to be gone, but it came back in June. Radiation/chemo not an option. Larygectomy was a choice, but only 50/50 chance. My Husband said, absolutely not. He wanted quality of life. He had a tracheostomy tube put in Sept, to help him breathe, might give him 6 months more. So this is where we are at. Mucus constantly out of trach, doesn't talk much, lymph nodes swollen, some times light headed. Still eats and drinks. We are just living everyday the best we can. We have our moments of sadness and crying, but times of laughter too, It is hard for me to see what he is going through, let alone trying to imagine what is on his mind. How old is your dad? Just had to touch base with you and hope all goes well for your father. I'll be thinking of you.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5608
Joined: Apr 2009

I have a different type of Cancer mine is NPC. When it came back for a third time I was told that all the doctors could do was to give me more Chemo and hope it would work again. I opt not to take it as my body was in a state that is could not withstand treatment again. At the same time the news go home and die was not an acceptable option to me, all this was in 2006. I do an alternative treatment that has worked for me, can’t say it will work for anyone else but if you are willing to try it my e-mail is on my post.
Take care and may God watch over you both.

abellard1
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

Just want you to know that Dr, Jeffery Myers is a Great Dr., he was my surgeon at MD Anderson. I to had treatment at MD Anderson for Laryngeal Cancer 6/09 to 8/09, I am now doing great and almost back to pre cancer level, except for taste buds & energy level back to 75%. You & your Father have my prayers and Blessings each and everyday.

Abellard1

denistd's picture
denistd
Posts: 483
Joined: Apr 2009

I too was diagnosed with Laryngeal cancer in March of 2009. I had 35 IMRT and 3 rounds of cistplatin chemo, I have recovered well and now am back to 90% normal, my voice is back 100%.

When diagnosed I searched the internet for info to help me in my decision making. I came across a site in the UK called laryngectomy life. This site is about 70% Brits and 30% from the UK. sign on, you will find these people are truly angels. Denis

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I am on, my 5th week of recovery and still waiting for some more of my voice to return...the tumor was a stage 4 that covered the front of my larnyx....Had chemo and radiation,6 weeks, Doctor states I will get more back..WHEN? Pain meds i have and get up in the Morning , throat sore, and the day of producing phlem starts over again, When does it get better....Please anyone? My Boss is wondering the same, her patients is very little, and I struggle to make it threw work. Thanks

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2225
Joined: Jan 2010

Dennis, I 2/10/10 I had a 2ns biopsy done and my trmnts had been finished for 16 wks. Until the biopsy I had very little voice. I'm not sure what happened but the biopsy fixed my voice, it came back. However, now I can only talk a little before my voice gets scratchy and i have to stop talking (some find this a blessing...lol). My tastebuds are back somewhat starting this month but there if little I can eat b/c it gets stuck in my throat and scares me terribly. Like you, I was expecting to be back to normal no more than 6 wks post trmnt. It didn't happen and I was heart broken then doc said it would be 4 months b4 I saw any change and they're right. So be patient and hang in there, it will come, just slowly.
God Bless,
deb

denistd's picture
denistd
Posts: 483
Joined: Apr 2009

I was diagnosed with stage 3 SCC on my left vocal cord, 7 weeks of radiation with 3 rounds of cistplatin. It was rough but not as bad as I had expected. My voice started to come back 3 weeks after treatment, the sore throat eased and I was eating pretty good, always used water to wash it down, otherwise it tended to get stuck due to dry mouth and narrowed esophagus, that is now all gone. I finished treatment June 17TH 09. I went back to part time work in August 09, I have no real problems right now except for dry mouth and lost 5 teeth, pulled after hyperbaric oxygen treatments. My voice is about 95% back, weight is back to pre diagnosis, mucus is there and always will be, I only notice it when it builds up around the vocal cords, (not really cords more like flaps), I drink or eat something and the mucus disappears. I had a videostrobe of my throat done last week and everything was normal except for a little redness by the left cord, doc said that will disappear in about another month. So you see, you will recover, but it takes a year, sometimes more, at 5 weeks the radiation is still cooking your throat and will for another month, but it goes. Good luck Denis

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2225
Joined: Jan 2010

Dennis, thanks for replying. You and I had cancer in the same place but I was stage 1. I'm glad to hear you've done so well and wish you continued success. I only had rad but it got rid of the cancer, thank GOD.
Sincerely,
Deb

denistd's picture
denistd
Posts: 483
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Deb, glad it was only stage 1, you did not need the chemo, great. My taste buds were not affected as much as I was told they would. I was eating 3 meals a day 3 weeks after TX, I made sure to put in 2,500 calories a day and protein. My taste has fully recovered except for chocolate, but I think it's more the slimy texture (sans saliva) I am told my saliva will come back but real slowly, did not know how important saliva is (it's a pharmacologic wonder drug). My lower face and neck are the only outward signs that I went through this, neck is now looking like shoe leather, and I have a chicken piece hanging under my chin, but at 66 so what? Hang in there if anybody is reading this, it does get better. Denis

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

This week seemed to be a turning point for some reason, I fianlly went to the Shoneys buffet bar, granted, I didn't eat steak, but for a small taste testing, this was well worth it. lol, of course eggs, gravy, i even got fried potatoes down, the taste is starting to come back, the sweet tea, still tastes burnt, and being cold, sent me threw the roof. What was wierd I didn't phlem alot, till i got home and sat on my bed? I am noticing a vocal change, its voice instead of whisper, but raspy....but grows tired at teh end of the day. and goes sore,I hope this is my start i was looking for, I will be patient, and expect alot more to come, Thanks to everyone with the support, I just think when you know someone that has been threw it..there the best Doctors in a sense, still taking pain meds for throat, but coping...Just waiting for the next week to come, with more postitve voice, and healing changes.....Dennis, and continuing to return to hear some positive input here at the discussion board

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi Dennis,

I was diagnosed with stage 3 SCC of the larynx and had lost most of my voice before I was finally diagnosed. I was first diagnosed with NSCLC adenocarcinoma in my left lung but with further testing, I think it was the pet scan, they found out I also have SCC of the larynx. I went through 35 rad treatments and chemo (cisplatin) for 2 days in 3 week cycles. I was lucky and started to get my voice back after my first week, needless to say I was in seventh heaven as I figured this was a sign that the tumor was shrinking. After my 3rd week of treatment I started to lose my voice again but my oncologist told me not to worry, this was normal, and I would get my voice back again. One week later my voice was back to normal.

I finished my treatment for the larynx in August and the targeted radiation for my lung in September. Since then I have had a CT scan and my radiologist said both cancers were shrinking - HOORAY!! I have been seeing my ENT every month and he always told me that there was still some swelling and redness, this scared me because he always sounded concerned about it, like it was not normal being this far past the end of my treatments. Finally in January he told me that he was going to do another biopsy on my larynx to determine whether it was swelling from the radiation or whether the cancer had invaded the tissue of my larynx. After one very nerve wracking week I got the results of the biopsy - CLEAN - best word I could possibly hear. He is still doing the scope every month to monitor me for any changes but so far so good.

It does take time for the taste buds to return, but they will!! I still have dry mouth and carry a bottle of water with me at all times. Mucous isn't as bad but I still have times when it is difficult to swallow, I just take a sip of water and it clears my throat.

I'm not a doctor so this is strictly my personal opinion - you said your voice gets tired at the end of the day and then gets sore - are you possibly over doing it?? Maybe you should check with your ENT to see if you should be resting your vocal chords more during the healing process. I know after they did my biopsy I was told to rest my voice (not talk at all) for a week to let it heal. As I said, this is just my opinion but it might be worth checking into.

Best of luck to you in your continued improvement. Believe me, things do get better, slower than we would like, but they do improve!!

Stay strong and keep smiling,

Glenna

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5608
Joined: Apr 2009

I am very happy to hear about you CLEAN report

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Thanks Hondo, I have been so relieved since the results of my biopsy came back. My ENT had said that I would have to have my larynx removed if the cancer had invaded the tissue. I couldn't imagine never being able to speak again (I love to talk too much ;-) and my husband has always joked that he would miss my nagging - LOL

I saw my ENT again on Monday and he said everything still looked the same, no changes. I like hearing him say that almost as much as I enjoyed the word - CLEAN.

Take care and stay strong,

Glenna

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1231
Joined: Aug 2009

This is a new procedure for the excision of part or entire vocal cord with the use of carbon dioxide laser through the mouth which has become an early treatment of choice for early stage laryngeal cancers. One of many enumerated in this issue:

"Improved treatments for head and neck cancer and quality of life"
Theresa Tran and Mark Persky MD, SPOHNC VOl. 18 NO. 5 Feb 2010

hope it can help someone!

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2225
Joined: Jan 2010

Dennis, I have the same problems you do. I laughed out loud when I saw you can't eat choc. I just told my granddaughter this afternoon that I hoped it wasn't permenant. My voice is back now (18 wks since last trmnt) but it still gets tired. I am also unable to eat peanuts and peanut butter, and I can't drink coffee either. Still try every so often just in case it comes back, I'd love a good cup of coffee. I like u mentioned, we all have to be patient.
God Bless,
Debbie

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Deb,
So it took you 18 weeks till you got results for your voice to return, I'm on 5, and dealing with tHE soreness when i wake up and and my voice getting tired at tHE end of the day. Notice somedays are better for Phlemming than others, i just have to remeber to keep paper cups with me, how gross! I still get threw the day eatting soft foods, which is alright, i tried chocolate again last night....like eating dirt, nasty. lol. and that cup of coffee is replaced by water. I don't know about alot of you, but having this bout with cancer, my body totally changed in likes and dislikes, i use to hate drinking water, now, I can't get enough, my eating habits ave changed to a upbeat healthy type of diet. I appreciate alot more than i had before, and though i get depressed and moody at times, i remember those days in radiation and chemo, and the friends that where there laughing and doing there thing to survive. All I want is some of my voice back....it gets hard and depressing, but people like yourself offer me the encouragement I Look forwrd too, keep up the good work on your part, I just hope I have a positive ending in this long battle. Thanks Deb

randyrkr
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010

i to had layngeal cancer. stage 4. it was a year in june since radiation and chemo. i still have alot of dry mouth and phlem. i still and drinking ensure. the VA sends me 9 cases each time i fill my prescription. i try eating different things all time. the most i can eat is a little chicken soup without the chicken or angel hair pasta with sauce and no meat. swallowing still is not easy. anything else i try to eat after a couple of spoonfuls i want to puke it up. i love to eat and love to cook. so i find this part very depressing. i was hoping by now things would of change. i never give up. hopefully in time ill be able to. you always have to have hope. i look back at where i was a year ago and im grateful where im at now. i still get tired easily. my voice came back some. atleast people understand me better. still gets worse the more i talk but im not complaining. im grateful to be in remission. i saw alot when i was going through my treatments. it was the ones in the waiting room along with me that help me get through everything. they were my support group. ill never forget them. i also will never forget all the drs and nurses technicians at the VA hospital in Tampa florida. they were the best i could have asked for.

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