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Cancer Back

Posts: 97
Joined: Feb 2010

It has been almost six years since I was diagnosed and treated for throat cancer. I thought I was cancer free until I had my esophagus stretched about two weeks ago and my doctor saw some tissue that did not look right and had a biopsy done. It is now confirmed my cancer has returned. I had just been checked three months prior to this and she did not see this. This is devastating news to me since once reaching the five year cured mark I felt good about it not returning. I do not plan to do anything about it this time but I have agreed to have a PET scan, a CAT scan and meet with a surgeon to see just what options I have. I was fifty seven when I was first diagnosed and am sixty four now. I just don't have any fight left in me. Those of you who have fought a second battle with throat cancer please tell me what you did. My lymph nodes trapped the cancer before but in my studies the cancer I have goes to the lungs next.

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

I'm cussing. Very sorry to hear this. We keep hearing about (and clinging to) the notion of the magic five year goal (my doc even suggested 18 to 36 months). What a blow. I mean, it's got to be a shock to the core at any time, but AFTER the five year mark?!? A nightmare.

I'm hoping the surgeon has some hopeful news for you.

On getting your esophagus stretched - were you having swallowing issues? For how long?

Posts: 761
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer at 73 in 2010. He underwent 35 radiation, 3 chemo and then in March 2011 a complete laryngectomy, neck dissection and throat reconstruction. Then in April 2012 he was undergoing a procedure to have a TEP inserted when they found a tumor at the cervical of his esophagus. We were told it was inoperable due to location, prior radiation, surgery. Surgery could be done but it would have major complications.

My husband told me he wouldn't undergo any further radiation or chemo after his first treatment, but when it came down to it, he wasn't ready to give up. So in July 2012 he finished another 35 radiation and 7 chemo treatments. Then in September he had a PET/CT scan and it showed cleared in his throat but hot spots in his lungs. He had a chest x-ray in October and underwent a dilation to open his throat up again. The chest x-ray was good, and the dilation was easy and the specialist was able to go all the way down his esophagus into his stomach and said he saw nothing suspicious, nothing to biopsy. I know that esophageal cancer is bad but it can be beat or at least stopped for a good while.

Oh yes he is back to having trouble eating solid foods, but is able to swallow, still has a PEG tube just in case his throat closes off again. But considering all that he has been thru for someone who will be 76 in January, he is basically doing good. So don't give up hope or the fight.

Best wishes, Sharon

Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

So sorry to hear about your reoccurance. I wonder sometimes the Drs really know about this cancer. I have heard conflicting information for the surgeon, radiation onc, and chemo dr.

But, I can understand how you feel about treatment and your options but I would say don't make any decisions until all information is in and yuo sit down and listen to the drs. and consider all your options.

Thinking of you and wishing this weren't happening to you but hang in there. Take it one hour at a time.


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Hello !
I here that 5 yr mark....and think wow. I have reoccurrance (acc) after only 11 months. I am really sorry to hear the defeat in your words....and yet I hear the what if I fight again ! This is a personal decission of coarse, and you know this group will support you no matter what. I say get those opinions...take a breathe and then decide. You've been through this trip once and made it ! I hope and pray you make it through ! Keep posting and let us know ! Katie

longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

My original scc was in 1998. Like you, I got a second primary (NOT a recurrance) in 2010. This started a long arduous process for me, that I am still here to talk about. You can read my bio for the particulars. I'm still here, with a reasonable expectation of cure and a good quality of life. I won't lie to you, the treatments have been hard. If it is important to your state of mine, for you this is a second cancer, not a recurrance. In my case, I went through the workup and listened carefully towhat my options and expectations were. Then I jumped in and swam.

Please PM me if I can be of assistance to you, and by all means, post a bunch on the board. There are a number of others around that have been through the same situation you and I have found ourselves in.


fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

my first was 1996, nothing until 2008 when they thought i had cancer on/near pharynx, they went in to look and found necrosis. 9 months of treatments and healing with a good report. one month later found a spot on tongue, he did not think it was cancer, guess he was wrong as it turned out to be SCC the same as 1996 but they said it was not recurrence. Only option was surgery and i took it. so far NED continues to be my friend.

it's all about choices, i suggest you listen and then pray and think about it.

each one of use have to make a choice or choices and you will need to do what is best for you and your family.

i have told my family i do not want to be a burden when the time comes. right now it's me and not a burden on them so i will continue the fight.

sorry to hear your hard news, prayers for you to find your comfort and enjoy.


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

response...I'd venture to say that would be my first reaction, too...I can hear some fight in you, tho...going ahead with the PET and the CT, checking to see what options you have...doing these things says to me that you really don't want to just give up...Like others have said, it's a personal choice...and no one would ever presume to know what is right for another on this board.

I'm glad to hear tho, that you're going ahead with the testing...first things first...don't give up until you give yourself the opportunity to think things thru.


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4336
Joined: May 2012


It sounds like this go-a-round they caught the cancer early and treatment choices can be made to match the fight you have left in you. Maybe you posted this thread during a down moment and you will better after they analyze your scans and formulate a plan. I have to think that if they caught it during a 3 month period, which is darn early and works in your favor.



Posts: 97
Joined: Feb 2010

According to my doctor the cancer is in basically the same place they first discovered it. It was hidden from a scope before when I think it was in the very early stages. I was scoped in June of 2005 and my cancer was not found until December 2006. I think the cancer was starting to grow in 2005. I was not treated or diagnosed at a major hospital initially and I wish I had been now. When any cancer is evident I think you need to go where they have seen the most of your type of cancer. I feel like experience counts in anything. Cancer is something you should not mess with. Yes I did post this during a down moment but I do want to make a good informed decision and will do so. I am a open minded person and will listen to any advice before I make my decision.

cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012

I say NEVER STOP fighting...there are people that love you and want you to fight. You obviously have the desire as you have agreed for a PET scan. Once you know your options, you will have a plan. You have more strength than you give yourself credit for. You are a fighter. I say go after this!!!

I am in agreement with longtermsurvivor..."this is a second cancer, not a recurrance". Also, if you were checked three months prior, then this is an early dx and has a favorable outcome.

As a caregiver on this forum, I've found a lot of great advice and strength through others on here. I encourage you to get on here and stay with us. We will all help you through this journey....you are NEVER alone...we're all on the same bus, just some of us have different seats. We'll be sure and take care of you during your ride.

Stay positive. Never Give Up. You are worth it.

God Bless Us All,


Greend's picture
Posts: 678
Joined: Feb 2010

I know this is not what most say but I understand and wonder if I wouldn't do the same thing.

Best to you.


Posts: 97
Joined: Feb 2010

Denny: I did have scans and meet with doctor. Not much hope even with a surgery which is horrific. Giving me possibly two to six months to live without any treatment. Hard to hear this news but I must move on now and live out each day I have left on this earth. Being a strong person of faith I know I am going to be in the presence of God and I won't have to deal with this horror any more. My prayers are for all my friends on this site that have helped me so much in reading their comments the last couple of years. Throat cancer is something that is not widely discussed such as breast cancer or prostate cancer and I hope this type of cancer can be brought to the forefront like these others cancers are. There is no good cancer but I want it to be known that this is one of the worst especially after all the side effects from treatment even if you have been cured of it. Thanks for you understanding.

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

My husbands tongue cancer came back 3 months in his lungs. He chose no additional treatment because he wanted quality over quantity of life. After three months of treatment two hospitalitions and two surgeries in 6 months he is finally able to enjoy a quality life. Each persn has to decide for themselves. I pray you can find peace with the decision you make.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I was there where you are 7 years ago when my NPC came back a 3rd time and the doc said with treatment I have a 5% chance and with out a 0% of making one year. I never treated it the 3rd time, read my post just click on my name everything about me is there. You can contact me if you like, just so you know I believe strongly in the power of pray my friend, I also believe in never giving-up.

God bless

Posts: 97
Joined: Feb 2010

Hondo I have read many of your posts on this site. I just got my PET and CT scans done and the only alternative the offered me was a very radical operation to remove the cancer. They would then give me a thirty per cent chance of survival once this was done. I politely said no to this and that I wanted to have whatever time left to be as quality time as possible. They are saying anywhere from two months to a year depending on how the cancer spreads. God is the great physician and I am now putting all my trust in him to heal me. I have my church family, my family, my friends and even people who do not know me lifting up prayers for me. Prayer does work and God answers our prayers, maybe not in the way we always want but he does answer. Like you I do not plan to do anything about it medically this time and am prepared to accept the will of God. I will not give up, I will fight to the end to survive. I love living life although I face many obstacles each day that was caused by my initial treatment. Thanks for the encouragement and I will probably be in contact with you. God Bless

Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

Just want you to know I am sorry for what you are going through. Wish I could say something inspirational , just want you to know I , a stranger whom has never met you, is heart broken for you and your family.

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

I always respect a fellow patient's thoughtful and prayerful decision. Like you, I believe in an after life and in a loving God waiting for us. I am also certain that God is speaking to you, and that He has a better grasp of your individual situation than I have. Rick.

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