Can a 29 Year Old Have Throat Cancer for 2 Years Without Treatment?

Question by tasha: can a 29 year old have throat cancer for 2 years without treatment?

Best answer:

Answer by Vickydvb
“Treatment depends on the stage and the precise location of the cancer within the larynx. For early-stage cancer, doctors may use either surgery or radiation therapy. Usually, radiation is aimed not only at the cancer but also at the lymph nodes on both sides of the neck, because many of these cancers spread to those lymph nodes. When the vocal cords are affected, radiation therapy may be preferred over surgery because it may preserve a more normal voice. However, for very early-stage cancers of the larynx, microsurgery, sometimes performed with a laser, provides identical cure rates with equal preservation of the voice and can be completed in a single treatment. Using an endoscope to remove a laryngeal tumor has gained in popularity and is a viable alternative to radiation for larger tumors as well.

Tumors larger than ¾ inch (about 2 centimeters) and those that have invaded bone or cartilage are usually treated with combination therapy. One combination consists of surgery to remove part or all of the larynx and vocal cords (partial or total laryngectomy) followed by radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is also commonly combined with chemotherapy as the primary treatment for advanced laryngeal cancers. This treatment provides cure rates equivalent to the surgery and radiation combination, and the voice is preserved in a significant number of people. However, surgery still may be required to remove any cancer that remains after this treatment. If the cancer is too advanced for surgery or radiation therapy, chemotherapy can help reduce the pain and the size of the tumor but is unlikely to provide a cure.

Treatment almost always has significant side effects. Surgery often affects swallowing and speaking. In such cases, rehabilitation is necessary. Using an endoscope to remove cancer reduces side effects on swallowing and speech when compared to surgery done through a neck incision. A number of methods have been developed that allow people without vocal cords to speak, often with good results. Depending on the specific tissue removed, reconstructive surgery may be performed. Radiation may cause skin changes (such as inflammation, itching, and loss of hair), scarring, loss of taste, and dry mouth, and occasionally, destruction of normal tissues. People whose teeth will be exposed to the radiation treatments must have dental problems corrected and any unhealthy teeth removed, because radiation makes any subsequent dental work more likely to fail, and severe infections of the jawbone may occur. Chemotherapy typically causes a variety of side effects, depending on the drug used. These side effects may include nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, and infections. The chance of surviving longer than 2 years is poor without treatment.”


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