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Post laryngeal cancer symptoms

samgalea's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

Hi. I live in Sydney, Australia. I was diagnosed with squeamous cell carcinoma on my right vocal cord in 2005. It was in a very primary stage and was treated successfully with 6 weeks of radiation therapy. Although the treatment and immediate post-treatment period was very uncomfortable, my recovery was fairly complete with no major negative effect to my voice. Then 5 years later in 2010 (and this is hard to believe I know) ... i coughed up (into my handkerchief) what looked like a small round piece of flesh. Took that along to my ENT specialist and the pathology test proved it to be part of a squeamous cell carcinoma tumour. So it was back again, only in a slightly different part of the larynx. this time they operated and lasered out the tumour(s). Once again my recovery seemed complete without major deteriation to the my voice. Just as well because I am an ex-professional radio announcer and do a lot of community acting. Getting to the point of this post. About a year ago I began to experience sensitivity in my throat and nasal area that made me cough continuously and bring up stubborn phlegm. My ENT specialist has examined me throughly (this has done on a continous basis throughout treatment) and he said it was nothing to do with my larynx, that my cancer had not re-appeared. He puts it down to reflux and has sent me to a gastro-entorologist. The gastro specialist is treating the reflux with 40 mg x2 tablets per day of the proto-pump inhibitor Nexium but he also believes that the radiation has damaged my throat and reflux may not be the total cause of my symptoms. Certainly, the nexium seems onlt to be partially successful. I still have a great deal of throat irritation and coughing. Has anyone else experienced anything similar to this and is there something (in regard to treatment0 that my specialists have missed. Any information would be very appreciated.

Posts: 761
Joined: Apr 2012

Have they done a scan on you?  My husband had laryngeal cancer that was treated with radiation (35 rounds) chemo (3) rounds.  Then when he started having problem with breathing they found that the cancer was back.  He had a laryngectomy, neck dissection and throat reconstruction (due to radiation damage).  One year later when he decided to have a TEP puncture they found a tumor at the cervical of his esophagus (which is a  rare spot for cancer we were told).  Today the cancer has spread to his right lung and reoccurred after treatment at the cervical of his esophagus.  Surgery is out and so is radiation.  He has elected no more treatment.

Before the second primary was found, he had his follow ups and nothing was noted until the H&N specialist was doing the procedure for the TEP.  As far as phlegm he has had that since treatment started and he had reflux and was already on medication for that before treatment started.

Radiation causes a lot of damage and it is the gift that keeps giving.  Sometimes even when they do scope you, they miss something.  Has the gastro doctor done an endoscopy?  If not I would ask for one.  

Wishing you the best -- Sharon

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

with ladylacy.....a scan would totally eliminate any signs of cancer.....for your peace of mind.....Radiaiton is known on this site as "the gift that keeps on giving"....you may be dealing with radiation damage.  There are many people here who are dealing with it many years out of treatment.....I'm sure you will hear from others.

Hey....welcome to this forum.....this is a great place for information.....WISE and "been there" kind of information.....unlike the Dr.'s, everybody here has been either thru treatment or helped someone get through it.


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