In all cases, treatment should be individualized by you. You do not have to rush to make a decision, so consider options carefully. Research shows that cancer survivors of all educational levels and backgrounds can have a hard time communicating with their healthcare team. One of the best ways to improve communication with your health care team is to prepare your visits so that you can make the best of your time.
A treatment plan is a way to deal with both the short and long term goals of managing your cancer. There are different treatment methods. Patients have time for second opinions and to talk through all of their options with their doctors and develop a treatment plan that best fits their needs.
Social networking and online support groups are important tools. Reaching out to others who have or have had similar experiences can provide you with valuable insights. Please click online community for more information on clinically facilitated support online through the Cancer Support Community.
Laryngeal Treatment Options
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type of tumor and where it is in the brain.
Radiation therapy may work better in patients who have stopped smoking before beginning treatment. External radiation therapy to the thyroid or the pituitary gland may change the way the thyroid gland works. The doctor may test the thyroid gland before and after therapy to make sure it is working properly.
Surgery is a common treatment for all stages of laryngeal cancer. The following surgical procedures may be used:
- Surgery to remove the vocal cords only.
- Surgery to remove the supraglottis only.
- Surgery to remove half of the larynx (voice box). A hemilaryngectomy saves the voice.
- Surgery to remove part of the larynx (voice box). A partial laryngectomy helps keep the patient's ability to talk.
- Surgery to remove the whole larynx. During this operation, a hole is made in the front of the neck to allow the patient to breathe. This is called a tracheotomy.
- The removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.
- A surgical procedure that uses a laser beam as a knife to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor.
Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after the surgery, to lower the risk that the cancer will come back, is called adjuvant therapy
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body.
Follow-up care after treatment is important. Even when the cancer seems to be gone, it can return if cancer cells remain in the body after treatment. The doctor monitors the recovery of the person treated and checks for recurrence through lab tests, x-rays, CT scans, and other tests.
Social networking and online support groups are important tools. Reaching out to others who have or have had similar experiences can provide you with valuable insights. Check out Cancer Support Community's The Living Room
for more information on clinically facilitated support online.