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Cancer Genetics

Life Expectancy With or Without Surgery (Throat Cancer)

05/18/2004

Question:

My grandfather died of throat cancer. My dad keeps getting lesions in his mouth that have not been diagnosed as cancer. His latest bout we`re finding out is cancer of the throat with lymphoma. He is 86 years old. My brother and I don't want him to go through a 3 hour operation, take half his neck off, and go into a home where we know he will die of a broken heart. You see my parents have been married 61 years. My question - if he does not have the operation, how long do you think he will have to live? If he does have the operation how long will he live? At this point, I think we`ll opting for him not having the operation and living out his life as he has been. I would really appreciate an answer. Thank you so much.

Answer:

Your questions are very good, and important to ask before treatments such as your father`s are started.  However, these questions should be asked to your father`s surgeon and/or oncologist.  The answers to these questions require indepth knowledge of your father`s findings, the extent of operation that will be required, and whether you and your brother (and your father) can expect a complete cure, or reduction of complicating symptoms.  I am not qualified to answer such questions, but will forward your question to the NetWellness expert on Ear Nose and Throat Disorders, who may be able to give you some further information.

 

Duane Culler

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Response by:

Duane D Culler, PhD, MS Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University