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Best treatment for Epiglottis Cancer

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

Hello Everyone,

My father was recently diagnosed with cancer of the epiglottis. The doctors are saying that he has stage 1 cancer, but could go up to stage 3 if they find lymph nodes infected. The doctors are currently suggesting surgery, but people I spoke with are saying we should go for radiation.

The doctors are saying his tumor is unique and just in one place and is better to do a surgery so they can remove the epiglottis and the tumor. The doctors state they will not need to touch any vocal cords and he should be able to eat and speak.

I spoke to an oncology doctor outside the hospital and he states we should do radiation and he should be able to speak and eat with radiation but could have trouble if we do a surgery.

It seems like the doctors in the hospital states with radiation my father might have trouble eating and speaking and doctor outside the hospital an oncology doctor states radtion is a better option.

Thank you for all your help.

CajunEagle's picture
Posts: 398
Joined: Oct 2009

it depends on a few factors on how treatment should proceed, one being the general health of your father. If it were me and I had to choose, I'd go with radiation first to see if it would do the trick in knocking out the cancer. Surgery would be my last resort. But like I say, that's just me.

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Happy he has options. I did not have that particular cancer. I did have extensive jaw surgery, radiation and chemo. The surgery and recovery was much easier on me than the radiation.

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4331
Joined: May 2012

Hi sniygch,

I had surgery to remove a spot on my lower tongue and had a Jugular Vein dissection to remove one lymph node, both were cancer and on both the ENT said he had clean margins. He said I had a choice to go with the surgery only or to add the radiation and chemo to the treatment mix. He said while he was confident he got all the cancer, he could not guarantee he got every cell and that he recommended the additional treatment. Let’s be honest, there are no guarantees in this game except to not treat is most likely disastrous. It wasn’t an easy path, but I feel it gave me the best chance at a future. Currently at 18 weeks post I feel good, have little saliva, have little taste buds, have no pain, have lost 40 pounds, and have met (cyber like) many new friends on this site. It is and will be difficult, but you have a wealth of information to tap right here any time of the day.

Good luck!



Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 709
Joined: Dec 2011

your Dad and I have alot in common, I was diagnosed in October of 2011 with a cancer mass on my epiglottis...after weighing the options offered to me by one of the best oncology surgeons in the state of Ohio, I opted to go with the surgery, knowing full well, if lymph nodes showed cancer, I would need radiation and chemo too. On November 2, 2011 I had the surgery, done by the de vinci robot at The James in Columbus, Ohio...lymphnodes were removed and biopsied and came back clear, praise God.

It's now, 9 months and I'm doing great, it hasn't been easy, but neither would it have been with radiation.

My reasoning for the surgery was it would remove this monster from my body, radiation and chemo would do the same, hopefully, over time, but the Surgeon could not assure me that the radiation would not go to my vocal cords and voice box...it's a hard decision and I wish your Dad well whatever choice he makes. I've learned to swallow without asperating, and eating a soft food diet... my life is a "new" normal and I'm trying to live it well....peace

Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 709
Joined: Dec 2011

your Father and wonder what his choice was? I went yesterday for my 9 month check-up and scope, NED ( no evidence od disease ) . To celebrate we went to an italian diner and I had lobster bisque with baby shrimp on top, ate every bite :)...my diet is still soft foods, I can drink whatever I like...my voice is back clear and strong.

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