Jul 21, 2010 - 10:26 am
I am a 39 y/o male and I was diagnosed with very early Stage 1 Laryngeal Cancer recently. I've never smoked, and do not drink... so everyone was shocked that my simple vocal "polyp" turned out to be cancerous. I'm thinking it may be due to Reflux, which I've always had, but my ENT thinks it's more likely due to HPV - we really have no idea.
I am currently undergoing Radiation Therapy, and have only had 10 treatments thus far. My problem, is that my swallowing is ALREADY becoming an issue - I've got what feels like a ping-pong ball stuck in my throat, which moves (painfully) when I swallow. Later in the day, the pain seems to radiate up my neck and face, creating heat, a headache, and general feeling of malaise.
My concern is that if I'm already experiencing swallowing difficulties, that I may not be able to swallow at all soon - seeing as how I've got 5 more weeks of this to come.
Since the tumor was removed surgically, and since I'm now DEEPLY concerned about quality of life, I'm contemplating discontinuing the radiation - and instead, waiting to see if it develops later - which was an option presented to me. Frankly, I'd thinking I'd rather go without a voice later, than have such poor conditions sooner, in the 'hopes' that it never returns.
The tumor's pathology showed no signs of spreading. BUT of course, there COULD be cells remaining in the chord itself. So... I feel completely trapped, like either decision will be a bad one.