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What Can We Expect?

acedamama's picture
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2013

Dear Survivors: I hope that I will be saying that about my fiance in time, but right now we are facing T3N2 of the larynx. The "tumor board" has recommended to try chemo and see if the tumor responds. Can anyone tell me what that really means? And if you've been through something similar? Thanks


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

and welcome to the club nobody wants to join.   You've found a great forum here, tho....with really smart and supportive people.  You didn't offer up a whole lot of information, so I'm guessing they are going to do chemo to see if it will shrink the tumor.....and then possibly do surgery on it (did they mention a future surgery?)....I'm also surprised they didn't mention radiation to go with th chemo. 

I had inoperable nasal pharnyx carcinoma....so I knew there'd be no surgery for me, but they did rads along with the chemo.....then 3 more chemo's after the rads were done.  They also told me I could possibly have surgery on the nodes after the main treatment was done if they lit up on the follow up scan.  Did they say anything to him about a neck dissection?

Where is he being treated?  Did he get a second opinion on any of this?


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Hello Colleen !

My dx was different.  I had adcc (saliva gland cancer).  But I'm guessing I could answer your question on the T3N2....T-refers to size of tumor....N-refers to lymph node involvement.  If I'm wrong other's will pop in and correct me.  One thing I have learned through out the last year is to ask any and all questions I have and write everything down.  Most of the oncology teams out there want us to understand what we're dealing with....and it gives us peace of mind....and a little more control of the situation we find ourselves in.  I want you to feel comfortable in the knowledge of our group here.  They are a great group of people.   Katie

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome Colleen...

There is a link on the SuperThread (first post on the H&N Forum), if you scroll down the page, on Staging.

Like others said, without knowing much from your description, hard to give you much specifics..

I was STGIII SCC Tonsils HPV+ with a Lymphnode involved...

Had the tonsils surgically removed, then like you describe.

Because of the size and location of the tumor, it was decided to see what effects the chemo/rads would have.

I had nine weeks of chemo in three week cycles, then seven weeks of weekly concurrent chemo and 35 daily rads.

Originally the tumor was close to the cartoid, so the were hoping it would go away, get smaller, or if not, additional surgery or dissection.

For me, I was lucky...the tumor actually disappeared around week 6 - 7 of the first nine weeks.

Again, welcome and hope to learn more and see you here often.


fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

welcome  to a wonderful site, lots of experience, lots of support, lots of information. i know for me back almost 17 years ago i had access to this or anything like it. Colleen you have done right by comming and posting to this site. welcome 

Colleen, you are a survivor already. the day you are told you have cancer is the day you are told your are a survivor, you have survived just getting to this far. 

they do not know where mine started, the nodes were wrapped around my carotid, and were five of them the size of a golf ball. went 12 plus years without anything showing it's ugly face, then out of no where my voice went out. when they scoped me they thought it was caner on the pharynx. they went in for biopsy and found it not to be cancer, just nercrosis. 

i have watch over the years especially the last five years a huge change with treatments. the chemo's are some the same, best difference i have noticed is they know how to help the fighter better than they could before that. also the doctors have learned so much about listening and sharing their help to the fighter. for me that generates a Positive Mental Attitude for the fighter as they believe that they will win the fight. 

best help you can do for yourself is to accept help. everyone here are here uncondictionally to help anyone in need. it would be great if you could share where you are being treated, more about other plans talked about doing for treatment, if you like your doctors, how long sinse your first appointment and how they found it, maybe problems your having that lead to them finding the problem. point is the more you share the more everyone can help. 

i must say, congrats on your enguagement. 

prayers going out for you, your fiance, your doctors and family


Believe you will be ok.... and you will be ok!



CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4331
Joined: May 2012

Hi Colleen,


First off nice to meet you, sorry you find a need to be here, but you are very welcome to join the club. 


What can you expect?  For me it was fear, confusion, questions, etc…learning just about everything possible about cancer and cancer treatments you can handle.  Then for those lingering questions you have this site is at your disposal for help.


As was said earlier, you are already survivors and with the team you assemble for treatment you can look forward to many good (healthy) years ahead.






Click on any of our names to get a bio on us.

Posts: 1849
Joined: Aug 2010

Guess I was just wondering Smile  Either way, this is a good place to be, Colleen.  Please remember there is a Caregiver's Section and I highly recommend it.

My husband had inoperable advanced hypopharyngeal cancer along with base of tongue cancer.  He had 35 rounds of daily radiation along with three of Cisplatin.  Jim has been NED for almost a year now although the doctors caveat that with the information that the area around the tumor is still swollen.

By all accounts, including his own, he did very well with the treatment although there were rough patches.  Jim is a process engineer by profession and we believe that because he was so regimented in his medicine taking, following medical instructions and listened to his body that things went well for him.

Ask questions: they are all good and the answers may help someone else on the board.

Hugs.  Y'all will get through this.

And congratulations on your engagement!


Mrs. Sarge
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

I had T1N0M0, SCC, vocal cords,  with rads only which I guess melted the tumor off of my vocal cords.  I wasn't offered chemo, for which I was thankful.  I've had several scopes and CT scans with contrast and everything is clear (NED).  My voice was almost nonexistent for several months but it's very understandable, can talk on phone and order from a fast food drive up if I wanted!  If you'd like more specific help on what to expect maybe you could give more history, like what tests have already been done, the time frame, etc. and others with way more experience and equal staging will help you.  This board is awesome with help and concern.  Welcome but sorry you had to find us!

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