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Head and Neck Cancer

Lump or tumor in throat

07/30/2008

Question:

Recently my dad has been diagnosed with a kind of tumor or lump in the throat. He can eat well, but there is a change in his voice. He really has to put a lot of pressure while talking. He will get his endoscopy done this week to find out what exactly is happening. We got his blood check done and a CT Scan of his throat, everything is normal, but still not proven what this lump is. We will come to know after the endoscopy. I just want to know if he has surgery to remove his tumor (which is in the vocal cord), would there be any problem with his speech and voice after the operation? Would this operation will have an effect with his speech?

Answer:

I think a lot of these questions will be easier to answer after the endoscopy. Assuming that your father has a lesion that is cancerous on his vocal cord and depending on the size and location of the lesion, a lot of options could be considered. If the lesion is very small and can be removed without any significant damage to the vocal cord, endoscopic removal is probably ideal. If the lesion is still small, but removal would cause a significant voice issue then radiation would become the best option. If the tumor is larger, chemotherapy can be added to the radiation to try to avoid surgery and the loss of the voice box. Again you will know more after the endoscopy.

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Response by:

Pierre  Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS Pierre Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University