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Vocal Cords Problems

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I am just wondering how may of us survivor suffer with lost of our Vocal Cords. I am just starting to have problems and my ENT said he does not know why, but from what I read here on CSN there are a lot of survivors who have lost one side or even both due to radiation.

If you have problems speaking due to lost of Vocal Cords please let me know, as I need to inform my ENT he needs to do his homework

fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

The first time this came up for me was about 4 years post treatment(9 years ago). The doctor's then had far less history about side effects than they do now. At the time he did say he has seen this happen where one cord stops working and lasts for 1-2 years and all of a sudden it comes back. Well he was right, 18 months approx. after loss mine started to work again. That was good for 2-3 years and stopped working again and has not come back. The working cord did take over and did a good job. Now the last couple years I get very tired of talking and need to cut back and my strength of talking and volume us far worse.

We talked in our local support head and neck cancer group not too long ago about this and the top nurse in radiation department stated they are now seeing where the loss of a cord and finding damage to cords to be a long term side effects.

My doctor and I have been talking the last several months about using a filler material to push the one cord that remains open. This would help he believes if it works. They are not always successful, so they use a material that is temporary first to see if it helps before doing the final. It is suppose to help reduce the amount of air volume that goes thru the open area, but will not help with the raspy voice.

I am certain they do not know what causes it yet, however over the next couple years they will have more and more history about this.

Keep us hoarse survivors posted of your findings.


friend of Bill
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar 2010

...my vocal cord(s)but after 39 radiations I could not speak above a tiny hoarse whisper. Rad oncol referred me to a speech therapist. I was skeptical but speech therapy, and a lot of time, helped. Two yrs out, people say I sound like me, except for occasional stuttering which appeared after treatment when my voice got better. Anyone encountered stuttering??


Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

I saw my ENT today and asked him about my voice (I had laryngeal and lung cancer) as I am one year post treatment and I still have days when my voice is rough and raspy sounding. He said this was normal because of the dryness and said that I may always have this problem.

So my guess is that anyone still suffering with dry mouth will have this problem. Mine isn't everyday and it comes and goes.

Hope this helps,

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Every now and then I help out our Pastor by preaching at one of his two churches. A few months ago while I was half way into my sermon I lot my voice, my tongue went numb and there was nothing I could do about it. I guess satan has finally found a way to shut my mouth, I have now cut my sermon short so that I am able still able to help our Pastor when needed. Just something else we have to learn to live with I guess.

Thanks everyone for you input.

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

You raise an interesting issue, Tim, as I suspect most of us find our voices impacted during treatment. I was, like many, down to a whisper for most of my treatment, and even now it is an issue, sometimes. There's been a couple times that I've gone for several weeks with barely a voice, but then it comes back. And right now it is back. But each time it leaves me- major worrying that it's gone for good, not to mention that there might be a problem in my larynx area. PM, my Brother.



Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

It makes it very hard at work as I have to teach a Class every two weeks on Planned Maintenance. I don’t think they will like it too much if all I do is to stand up there and just point to a screen. So far I have been able to do what I need to do at work, just pray I can continue


patricke's picture
Posts: 498
Joined: Aug 2006

Yeah, my voice hasn't been the same since radiation, although I don't know if I've actually lost any of my vocal cords. The quality varies, and sometimes, very uenxpectedly, my voice just goes way south for no discernable reason, and then, after awhile, it returns. My voice quality is never good when I wakeup in the morning. Sometimes I find that a glob of mutant mucus was affecting my cord function. Oh, the joy of it all; but it could be worse..................* We just have to roll with it, doing the best we can. Take care Hondo.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks, sometimes we all need to just sit back and laugh at all the things that happen to us, and then just thank God for being with us and giving us life and like you said roll with it...

All the best to you my friend

dennis318's picture
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Everyone knows my L/S Larnyz Paralysis, but I do still have some vocal, Am I to Believe there might be hope I will get more voice back, I am out 1 year In January 2012????Any Positives or rays of hopes to get a stronger voice back? It's Raspy, but above a whisper, and I am getting people stating my voice is getting better. I avoided total voice box and prothesis reconstruction, and Glad I chose this. Dennis, Please chime in for any hope at all!

denistd's picture
Posts: 580
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Dennis, I had cancer of the larynx, prior to treatment I had only a whisper, now my voice is pretty much normal, came back about 3,4 weeks after treatment. So there is hope

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

One of the things I learned in life was that there is always HOPE

Posts: 22
Joined: Oct 2009

you need to go to see a speech and swallow therapist...the scar tissue from the radiation is causing the problem...they can help develop stronger tissue

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