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Early stage throat cancer. Is it safe to go for surgery or radiotherapy?

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Practicing since : 2004
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What are the relative merits of radiation v surgery for stage 1 (T1a) throat cancer?
Posted Thu, 21 Feb 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 3 hours later
Thanks for writing in.

Both surgery and Radiotherapy (RT) are very effective in early stage throat cancer.
Surgery has the advantage that it is a one-time procedure with a short hospital stay. For RT patient has to come daily fro a prolonged course of treatment. If a larynx-preserving surgery can be done then there is not much of a problem in doing the surgery.

Otherwise, Radiation should be preferred because of the good results, preservation of the voice, and the possibility of surgical salvage in patients whose disease recurs locally.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be happy to answer any follow-up queries.
Best Wishes,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Early stage throat cancer. Is it safe to go for surgery or radiotherapy? 15 hours later
Thank you for you previous comments. I have attached extracts from pathology and CT scan reports so that you have a little more background.

First symptoms of voice change appeared in mid December - about 8 weeks back. I contacted my GP on 18/01/13 when my voice did not improve and by the time I saw an ENT specialist my voice was a lot worse. Now my voice is not working very well at all less than 3 weeks from the day I saw the GP. I was advised that this sort of disease progresses in weeks rather than days and that treatment should be undertaken soon but not urgently but I am concerned about the rapidity of my voice failure. Admitedly I had a biopsy and that effected my voice but should I be worried about the rapid failure of my voice?

If I go for the radiation treatment, I understand that over the 6 weeks I will experience sorness after a few weeks but I would like to know if this makes it difficult to eat and what it is best for me to eat. When would I expect the pain to go away and when might I expect change (improvement) in my voice.

Does the information in the attached reports further confirm any preference for RT or surgery?
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 2 hours later
Thanks for follow up.

After seeing the image and CT report I feel that RT is more appropriate for you. Surgery will further compromise your voice.

With RT, gradually the tumor will shrink but you may have increased pain towards the end of the therapy because of sores. At that time semisolids or liquids are better tolerated. After completion slowly the sores and pain will resolve.

Voice may improve (time frame cannot be specified) or may not. But whatever is there currently should be preserved.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Early stage throat cancer. Is it safe to go for surgery or radiotherapy? 27 minutes later
Thank you for your comments. What you have said fills in some gaps and expands on what I have heard from my surgeon and radio oncologist and confirms what I thought might be the way to go. Thank you for your input.
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 4 hours later
You are most welcome.
It was nice interacting with you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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