Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and I'm ready to help.
I am a radiation oncology cancer doctor
I'm sorry that your voice box cancer has returned.
that is unusual that the vocal cord cancer would return after aggressive twice a day radiation for 6 weeks.
if they biopsied and it does show still active squamous cell carcinoma, then further radiation therapy is not possible.
and laser surgery is not possible if the cancer is infiltrative through the voice box and vocal cords.
laser surgery can only cut out polypoid or cancers with stalks and grow away from the vocal cord like a polyp.
it sounds like this recurrence is infiltrative
and if this is the case, then you have to have a laryngectomy to have the vocal cord removed to cure the vocal cord cancer.
does this make sense?
let me know if you have questions.
If I choose not to have the voice box removed , estimate the time of survival and th e way I would die.
that is hard to say.
you could live for 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 years before the cancer grows and metastastizes and kills you.
the vocal cord cancer could grow locally for many years and eat away at your vocal cords over the next few years and take away your voice and your swallowing first.
your doctors have biopsied the area to confirm that the cancer is back correct?
If I choose to not have the voice box removed what is the average life span from now. Alo how do you die?
average life span could be 1-2 years.
different patients die in different ways.
they can die from malnutrition and dehydration from not eating and loosing weight.
the cancer could spread to vital organs like the brain or lungs or liver and cause dysfunction there.
do you have any other questions?
IF A PERSON QUITS EATING OR DRINKNG , HOW LONG WOULD THEY SURVIVE/
if you don't drink fluids, you can only survive a day or so.
you can live several weeks without eating, but you will lose severe weight.
fOR MOST PEOPLE , AFTER A VOICE BOX REMOV , HOW WOULD YOU RATE THEIR QUILITY OF LIFE ON A SCALE OF 1 T0 10 ?
it can be tough to adjust to in the first year, but you get use to it.
I just treated a patient who had her voice box removed in 2003 for a T4 laryngeal cancer.
now she has breast cancer and we finished her treatments for that.
she has a great quality of life and can plug up her tracheostomy and talk and be understood very well.
she talks continuously. we can't shut her up sometimes. :)
so you can have a good quality of life without your voice box.
and there are ways of talking and vocalizing even after you have your voice box removed.
aRE MOST PEOPLE SATISFIED THAT GO AHEAD WITH HAVING IT REMOVE.?
yes, most patients are satisfied and happy they are cured
how long is the recovery period and what is the toughest part?
right after surgery is the toughest.
but recovery is slow and steady and can vary from patient to patient.
it can be a few months to fully recover
but you can make it.
I know you can do it.
best of luck to you
let me know if you have other questions.if done for now, please click accept and leave positive feedback below the chat box so I can get credit for helping you todayyou can always reach me with "a question for Dr. David" if you have any other questionsThanks for using JustAnswers.com
Thank you very much Wayne