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What is the cure rate for tonsil cancer hpv

elwoodsinoakdale's picture
Posts: 67
Joined: Apr 2011

I was just wondering does anyone know how curable tonsil cancer hpv is. I have not heard of anyone having a recurrence with tonsil cancer hpv, I told my husband not to worry, there is no way this cancer can come back 4 months post treatment, am I right? He is just scared after having his first pet scan today.



Greend's picture
Posts: 678
Joined: Feb 2010

Tonsil cancer - 90% cure rate when caught soon enough (not sure of stage level for this comment) and very unlikely for recurrence. After five years he didn't want/need to see me again.

elwoodsinoakdale's picture
Posts: 67
Joined: Apr 2011

Thank you Greend, Steve had tonsil cancer hpv, one node involvement. He had his pet scan yesterday and he is just so scared that this stuff will come back, he responded very well to the chemo and rad, he just had a hell of a long ride. He spent 8 days in the hospital from being so sick in April, had the worse sores in his mouth that doc says he saw in a long time. I told him we need to think positive from now on and that pet scan will come out fine. Have a great day Greend.


jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

I know it is scarry and hard to wait, but worrying will not help, might hurt. Praying that your husband's PET is NED.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Most studies you see are old and the majorty don't even have much on HPV....

You can't really let yourself get wrapped around that stuff...there are so many variables...age, health going in, family history...

My ENT feels that one year with no recurrence is a milestone, two years your 95% or better, three years he considers you cured.

My chemo md just told me yesterday that she considers you cured as soon as your done, LOL....

Not to make light at all, and definitely not to offend you or anyone...

But a close friend told me that if you die of something other than cancer, your cured...LOL...sorry my sick humor.

More than likely the PET will be good, always a chance of residual on the first, but usually nothing seems to last more than the first PET.

Thoughts and Prayers for a clean PET and many years together.


Jimbo55's picture
Posts: 576
Joined: Jun 2010

Researching cure rates usually leads to various studies which come up with differing cure rates. As Skiffen put it, there are just so many variables it is extremely difficult to put any kind of definite number on it.

It is very encouraging that your hubby did respond so well to the treatment. I'd put more faith in that than some numbers that may or may not correspond directly to your hubby's specific set of conditions. Hopefully you will get the PET scan results back soon and they will be clean and then the worrying can stop (at least until the next scan!! LOL).

The anxiety your husband feels is normal. Quite opposite to you, whenever I have an upcoming scan, usually it is my wife who feels the anxiety and worry and I am the one who is telling her 'everything little thing's gonna be alright'. Cheers.


Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

I had tonsil cancer as well, stage 4. Treatment consisted of 9 weeks of multiple chemo drugs followed by radiation 5 days a week for 7 weeks along with chemo once a week. Had the bad sores as well as the hospitalization but at the conclusion and after the scans, the Doc pronounced me cured. Now I surely hope he was right but I am over two years post treatment now and the only issue I have is trouble sleeping. Everything else has come back including the weight. :) Good luck to your husband. Tell him to try and keep a positive attitude. I know its hard but its also helpful.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Exact same same...minus the cured and hospitalization part.... But all scans have been NED.

Arthur, I think I have welcomed you before, but if not...WELCOME


Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Thanks John. I don't participate as much as I should but I do read a lot of the posts. Wishing everyone the very best here in all that they do.

Butch_P's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2015

Was diagnosed with tonsil cancer (stage IV wuth lymp nbode affected) went through almost 3 months od chemo (2 treatments) and 7 weeks of radiation 5 times per week and my lastest petscan was great.   Doc says I'm doing perfect. Only trouble is dry mouth with some annoying tingling (and I use some lidocaine for that) and lost my almost pure white beard (I looked a lot like Santa but no more).  I just saw my doc and he is very positive and finally my energy level are back to normal.  So your hubby has a lot of reasons to be hopeful.  Luckily this type of cancer does have a very high cure rate _ THANK GOD-!

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Try not to spend time worrying (easier said than done). If something should show up in next few years, take it as it comes and deal with it. As far as stats, by the time they get published they are likely already outdated. Think positive!

Posts: 61
Joined: Feb 2013


Just had my 2 year & 3 month scan with another all clear...was told by MD at MD Anderson in Houston that after the 2 year mark out of the weeds and now see you each year for the next three years. The first two years are the biggest hurdle but worrying will not help. If you need assistance with the anxity get help...it is not a bad thing. I needed it and recieved help to get through the first year and then second year became better. Now it is time to focus on each day and be grateful for each one no matter what the next scan might show! There is light at the end of the tunnel and there are many who have made it to the fifth year and beyond...one day turns to one week turns to one month turns to one year...but we start with one day. 

Keep up the fight!

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I believe worrying is another normal for us, because as many time I tell people not to worry, I find myself sometimes worrying when it is time for a scan. I try to just put it aside and pray know that no matter the outcome I am in the best hands there is, my Lord & savoir.

 All the best to you both on the scan


Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2016

My name is chuck. I am new here. I have read your entries and it gave my hope. I am 2 1/2 years out and have been clean, but I can't stop worrying. Just wondering are you all experiencing this. Praying for all of you. 

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2016

There is conclusive evidence that Local regional control is much better for hpv tumors than for hpv negative ones. Doctors say hpv it is very responsive to radiation. 2.5 years puts you way past the high risk time frame, but, of course, you should continue to follow it. I am 4 years out and get checked every six months. Doc did a chest scan last month and it came out normal.

Good luck

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