I was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. I'm in shock, number one, and now I have to start advocating and educating myself. I need to find answers and become an expert on the topic of throat cancer. No, I never smoked. Can you please help me. I want to know everything from diagnosis to treatment. The doctors don't know what stage I'm in yet. Monday, I undergo tests to determine if and where it's spread, and also the staging. I do have access to fabulous doctors, but I want to make the best choices based on research and "others" experience with this particular, and somewhat rare cancer. I am in my early forties and I've always been the picture of health.
I want to talk to these women to see what worked for them. I also would like to know the about the latest treatments. I know there's a new radiation treatment which is much less invasive and pin points the main site. Something called Tomo (sp) thereapy?
Any additional information you can give me would be most helpful. I cannot thank you enough! D
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Hi, Anon, and welcome to EmpowHer. I'm sorry you're dealing with a difficult diagnosis, but you are doing exactly the right thing -- seeking information and arming yourself with as much knowledge as you can so that you can kick its butt! Let's see what we can find for you.
If you haven't found the Mayo Clinic site, it's a great place to start:
Be sure to click on the blue links down the left side that say Symptoms, Causes, Tests and Diagnosis, Treatments and Drugs, and so on. Each one will take you to another page of information.
If you click on the link called Preparing for Your Appointment, they include things to do before you see your doctor on Monday, and a good starting list of questions to ask (as well as some questions your doctors may ask you):
And their treatment link leads you to a page that discusses radiation therapy and surgical options:
Here is the National Cancer Institute's page on throat cancer:
and here is their Q&A page on head and neck cancer:
Check out the New York Times Health Guide on throat or larynx cancer. It's a good overview:
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America have a detailed page on their options for throat cancer treatment. And there's a phone number you can call to talk to someone in person. Be sure to click on the links down the left side of their page, which explain Staging, Conventional Treatments and Complementary Medicine Therapies (CTCs emphasize treating the whole patient at one facility):
Here is a recording from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in which a doctor talks about Advances in the Treatment of Throat Cancer. You can click on "Listen" (which takes a moment, and will ask you to Agree to an iTunes agreement) or "Transcript" (which also takes a moment, but brings up an Adobe document of the transcript. Don't give up, it took me about two minutes to get into both of them:
The Tomo Therapy website has a video that you can watch, as well as a locator for centers near you (CTCA also uses this):
And here's the CTCA's explanation of it:
I've thrown a lot of information at you here, but I know that's what you want. When you learn more about the status and staging of your cancer, you will also be able to learn more about treatment possibilities. I'm so glad you feel good about your doctors -- that is vital.
Please come back and update us when you know more. That's what we're here for.September 17, 2009 - 9:39am