My father was diagnosed with throat cancer recently. He has a 2 cm tumor on a larynx touching the base of his tongue.He recently had an operation removing his enlarged lymph node containing metastases. His doctor is now deciding on his further treatment. There are two treatments that are considered a combination of radio and chemo (Erbitux/Cetuximab) therapy or an operation on his throat removing the tumor itself. My father feels very anxious about the operation as he thinks that this will significantly reduce his quality of life. The tumor itself is not large, but in order to reach it the surgeon will need to cut his jaw bone. He is 65, and there is a risk that the bones will not grew together…
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I can see that your father is concerned about which way the treatment might be going. I had radio and chemotherapy for base of tongue SCC which had gone to the lymph glands. Recovery from this treatment is not always a doddle, so the options need weighing up carefully. I can't speak about surgery as I never went through surgery for that complaint.

Ask lots of questions - write them down ahead of time. Make sure he has someone with him at any appointment to catch the information that will be flying around at speed and in great detail - it is not easy to take this in on one's own.

Good luck and please keep in touch.

Life's a bitch - then it has puppies.
Very sorry to hear about your father.
For sure he is going to have a tough time for a few months (up to a year maybe). Michael Douglas (actor) had throat cancer and had similar treatment (no surgery required). Cetuximab combined with radiotherapy does yield very good results.
The mental turmoil is horrendous - take any medication offered (antidepressants,sleeping pills etc).
It's hell at the time but a very good quality of life is still there afterwards for sure.

Good luck and best wishes to you and especially your dad

tony k
Many thanks for your support and kind words. The doctors in the hospital, where he is treated now, will held a consultations between them on Friday and probably will come up with the decision on his further treatment. I hope and pray that we will beat this terrible decease...
My husband had base of tongue SSC stage IV at 67, surgery was considered too radical, he was prescribed one week of Cetuximab to be followed by RT. He responded almost immediately to the chemo, the swelling in his neck reduced overnight. He was then prescribed a further 2 sessions followed by 30 doses of RT. He got through the Chemo well with only very few copeable side effects however was very poorly halfway through the RT, I was forewarned of this through this invaluable website, enabling me to help get him through, otherwise I think he might have given up on the treatment. After the RT he was fed by a NG (nasal gastric) tube for 7 months.

That was 7 years ago, he still has a few problems, dry mouth, sometimes difficulty swallowing but nothing major. Otherwise he is fit and healthy and hasn't suffered the problems many people have had on this site who have undergone surgery.

As already suggested, make a note of questions you want to ask and of the responses, in fact after the first appointment with his team I switched my phone on to record, sometimes you hear want you want to hear, not what is being said.

Without doubt, Dad will be in for a rough ride. Keep him and yourself positive and focused.

All the very best for tomorrow, good luck.

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