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Vocal Cord Cancer

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2009

March, 19,2009

My husband was diagnosed with Vocal Cord Cancer on November 7th 2008. He was about to start radiation that would have left him barely able to speak above a whisper and with no option but voice box removal were the cancer to return, when we found a new procedure using a KTP Laser at Massachusetts General. The laser destroys the blood supply to the tumor saving the vocal cord. The tumor was a large T2. Dr. Steven Zeitels who was the developer of this technique removed most of the tumor on December 12, 2008. My husband returned 2 months later to have another laser surgery to remove the remaining cancer and there was nothing there. All biopsies returned negative. Thanks to the treatment from this incredible physician my husband's voice is now completely normal. We are confident that with frequent monitoring there will be no reason for more radical treatments. This doctor is a genius. Before undergoing any other treatment view the news clip from Charlie Gibson's ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Story?id=4759329&page=1. This is the treatment standard at Mass General and should be everywhere.

bernieap1's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello my name is Bernie I was just treated for vocal vord cancer. I just finished 28 radiation treatments last week. Have no voice and was wondering how long it took to get yours back.

Mrs. Sarge
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

I'm usually on H&N forum but just dropped in.  I finished rads for vocal cord SCC T1  a year ago.  Your voice will gradually come back. How strong?  It varies I'm sure. Mine is tolerable though I can't sing but that's ok.  What stage were you? The new procedure at Mass General sounds wonderful, though I hope mine never returns to need it!!  Did you have surgery? You are the first one i've heard of, besides myself with 28 days of rads. How long did each session take? Mine was about a minute or so.  No node involvement so I avoided the severe rads to the nodes. Hope all goes well with you.

Mickg01's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2011

I was diagnosed and treated with 34 sessions of Radiation back in October 2011. It's now Feb 2013 the only lasting after effect I have now is I get occasional cramping in the neck miscles either side of the esophagus. Then I'm running round the room like a nut stretching my head up and rubbing my neck for a couple of minute, a small price to pay. Otherwise Speech etc is normal again. Even singing along with the Radio in the car (My wife questions my definition of singing).

At 69 (70 next month ) I'm still working despite the best efforts of people in Washington DC and life is good.

Just a few words of hope to those going through this. My ENT guy now checks me every 4 months and so far is very satified with the results.

Posts: 761
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband had 35 rounds of radiation and 3 chemo treatments starting in August 2010 and finishing in early October 2010.  His voice never came back but part of that was due to the fact that the radiation completely closed off the back of his throat and the tumor was quite large and the radiation and chemo didn't get the cancer and he ended up having a completely laryngectomy, partial neck dissection and throat reconstruction.  ANd even though he was being treated by a very experienced H&N specialist at a cancer center no one said anything about this type of a technique and I certainly wished they had.  His cancer had not spread at that time even though he was a T3 due to the size of the tumor.


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