I was diagnosed with Squamous cell carcinoma in March of this year after years of chronic hoarseness. I had surgery to excise the area effected on my left vocal cord. Clear margins could not be determined on the Pathology report. We waited one month then my doctor looked at the area again and recommended we go back to get clear margins. I am waiting for this report. My question is this...is it typical to keep removing part of the cord opposed to radiation. I do not by any means want to do radiation but I also feel like my voice quality is suffering more and more. I am a non smoker, non drinker. No family history of head and neck cancer. Thanks for info.
Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP writes...
The only way to determine the most appropriate treatment course, with regards to your question about the options of further excision versus radiation therapy, would be to discuss these options with both your surgeon and a radiation oncologist. I certainly understand your concerns regarding vocal quality, but only a physician who has reviewed a detailed medical history and specifics of your previous excision and pathology would be able to offer guidance as to the most appropriate treatment plan and anticipated functional outcomes.
Best of luck to you -