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Signs and Symptoms of Throat Cancer -My Father's Throat Cancer Story

Updated on February 27, 2017

Smoking | Drinking | Cancer

Cigarette smoking and drinking leads to cancer
Cigarette smoking and drinking leads to cancer | Source

What Led To My Father's Throat Cancer

My father-in-law had a couple of faults, God rest his soul; he was a heavy drinker and a heavy smoker. He woke up in the morning with a beer in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth and go to bed the same way. Note: I said beer: he wasn't even a whiskey drinker or any hard liquor. Maybe; occasionally, but not everyday, he would have some vodka or Jack. Please understand that I am not judging anyone, so please don't think I am. I smoke myself (yes, I know) but when you mix the two together over the years, you are asking for trouble. Cancer or throat cancer would seem to be almost inevitable. I don't drink, but that doesn't make me any safer or less invincible. I think this story is important and if you smoke, quit. If you smoke and drink, you are tripling your chances for getting throat cancer (or any other cancers).

First Signs Of Throat Cancer

My father's first symptoms of throat cancer, from what I remember, started off when he would cough; a little bit of bright red blood would trickle out and down his lips and chin. I remember a few times where just clearing his throat would cause blood droplets on his tongue. He coughed a lot, so our very first thought was that maybe he broke a couple vessels in his throat. After about a month of the blood getting more and more frequent and thicker, a few other things started to happen; such as: heavy coughing, his voice would get so hoarse it was hard to understand him, and he had trouble swallowing (even his own saliva). He a had a raspy voice for many years already because of his smoking.

Spitting Up Blood

After a few weeks, my father-in-law started complaining of a sore throat and when he spoke, he was getting pretty hoarse. It was raspy and deep sounding. I would say it was roughly within another month or so that he started to cough up blood, not trickling any longer. He did make a couple trips to the family doctor about the bleeding and hoarseness, but they just kind of passed it off (I'm assuming) as a man who drank a lot, smoked and had a sore throat. The spitting up of blood was either bright red or dark. As a couple more weeks passed, you could see that he was starting to worry.

He would then start his journey of searching for answers locally at the family Dr. again. We had no reason to think that these were even throat cancer symptoms, but his family doctor said he wanted to send him up to the V.A. clinic because he needed further testing. He went to the VA clinic and they diagnosed him with strep throat and gave him some Chloraseptic throat spray and sent him home. I think they even gave him an antibiotic.

It was less than a week later of coming back from the 2 hour trip to clinic, that all it took was for him to be sitting there and blood would just start oozing and dripping from his lips as it came up and out his mouth and onto the floor, sometimes landing on his feet. We were in total shock at this point, we didn't know what to do or where to go. The blood would trickle down his chin. We would hurry up and go get clean wet wash towels to clean the blood off his shirt and mouth. It was heart wrenching.

Throat Cancer Getting Worse

I did the best I could to help my mom and hear her stories every day of what was going on. I had a young child at home and it was hard for us to go over there and try to help with a sick man and a young baby running around.

After about a few days , the blood continued to just drip out of his mouth and then started to drip out of his nose. We would call the VA clinic and my mother would cry. That's when I do remember the several trips we took back and forth to the VA. He would try to tell them he couldn't breathe, he couldn't get any air, etc. but it was always; try this, try that, etc. It was basically as the old saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try again." After several trips to this Dr. and that Dr., at the Clinic, he was finally diagnosed him with throat cancer.

Recognizing Throat Cancer Warning Signs

Thinking back, it was hard to recognize the signs of throat cancer that he had because it could have been a cold, a sore throat or smokers cough. But now, like everything else, you don't correlate throat cancer with blood droplets or coughing until after the fact. Now when we really sit and think about it, it was obvious that something was wrong.

Coughing And Hoarseness (Does That Mean It's Throat Cancer?)

Please remember that this was a man who was in his early 60's. He had these symptoms for a while before the official diagnosis. The reason I am telling you that, is because I don't want you to think that just because you have throat cancer; that it's a death sentence. You have to get to the right Dr. and continue until you get an answer. I have stated this several times in my other articles, and I will continue to think and say this. You know your own body and your body will let you know if something isn't quite right. Listen to it and keep fighting for your health.

When it comes to the prognosis of throat cancer, you can't go by statistics or percentages of other cancer patients. Do not let that be your outlook. It's not like comparing apples to apples, it's like comparing apples to a chair. Each is different and no two outcomes are the same. There are different types of cancer, the way it spreads, etc.

I do not want this article to scare you if you are having issues right now with lung or throat cancer. No one's outcome is the same and each person is different either in:

  • Type of Cancer
  • Past medical history
  • Age
  • Heath , etc.

Of course there a lot of other factors as well, but these are a few of the top ones.

Picture Of Tongue Cancer

Tongue Cancer
Tongue Cancer

Warning Signs Of Throat Cancer

Remember, these are warning signs only and doesn't mean you have cancer

  • A sore throat

  • Lump in the throat that doesn't heal

  • A cough

  • Weight Loss

  • Coughing up blood

  • Changes in your voice (ie., hoarseness)

  • Ear Pain

If you would like to see the links I provided, they would be more helpful than I am, I am simply providing you information and some inside information that I personally experienced.

Picture Of What Having A Trachea Tube Looks Like


Treating The Throat Cancer

Let me tell you, that I never in my life, have ever seen a more horrible situation. I have seen my share of people dying with cancer and horrible things, but this was the boot. He had radiation to help shrink the tumor so he could breathe. The tumor was so large, it blocked his airways. The radiation would not save his life, but let him live a little while longer and he had a little bit of hope. After all, never give up hope, that's all we have in life. Until the tumor shrunk down enough, he had to have a trachea tube put in. Also, the tumor was too large to operate on until the radiation shrank it.

When they removed the tumor in his throat, they had to cut him from ear to ear underneath his chin. His face was so swollen that he literally looked like a monkey. It was the worst thing I ever had to witness in my life. After they took out the tumor, my mother daily, would have to help him do everything. I mean everything. He had to have a feeding tube because that was the only way he could eat. The feeding tube hung from a pole ( like an I.V. pole) and it was inserted into his abdomen. When he got hungry, (which wasn't very often), the bag of nutrition would drip down into the long hose directly into his stomach. That is how he had to eat from here on out. He didn't have to suffer for very long as in about less than 2 months time from diagnosis, he passed away.

Tracheotomy Picture

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and Throat Cancer

Hpv and Throat cancer: HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. HPV lies dormant until it decides to basically "activate." The information provided here is beneficial because it can cause cancer. This information is a must read for men and women. Please read this information and watch the videos. It is also known, that HPV (Human Papillomavirus) not only causes Cervical Cancer, but causes throat cancer, penile cancer, vulva and others as well. HPV can also be contracted from skin to skin contact.

Read up on HPV genital warts

HPV And Cervical Cancer Information

Unfortunately, I had an experience with cervical cancer and you can read that story if you wish. I believe it is vitally important for men to read as well as women, because HPV (human papillomavirus) is one of the causes of throat cancer and there is information available about cervical cancer and HPV (human papillomavirus) and throat cancer, penile cancers and more. It's vital that you read that story if you are reading this one. I wanted to share my story and information to help save lives. If it wasn't for my persistence, I would not be here today giving my story. My story and information on HPV and cervical cancer can be found to the right of this section.

Now, God forbid any of you reading this has throat cancer, and I don't mean to give you such a grim outlook. His was way too far gone for them to do anything at all. Below, are some signs and symptoms of throat cancer you can read. Not all throat cancers are metastisized from the lung, so just because you have throat cancer, doesn't mean you have lung cancer.

Read more on HPV and how it can cause throat cancer and other types of cancers. HPV Infection And Information

Dedication To My Father-in-Law

I am dedicating this story to my father-in-law, I am sharing his story to hopefully save someone else from having to go through what he did. Throat cancer symptoms are similar to strep throat sometimes; thus you need to know what other signs or symptoms of cancer to be aware of. His wasn't caught early enough and so therefore; he had no chance. I hoped I help someone, especially if you smoke or drink. This is a horrible disease and if I could make a difference in either early detection, prevention or anything, then something positive has come out of this horrible tragedy.

Will You Stop Smoking

Just Curious to see who may stop smoking and/or drinking after reading this:

See results

Throat Cancer Video With A Lot of Information


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    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 23 months ago from Central USA

      Thanks for pointing out the error. Must have been engrossed in explaining the story....

    • profile image

      Momkidd 23 months ago

      Thank you for this article, I'm so sorry this happened to your family. Just a side point, an opening surgically created in the neck is a tracheostomy. We are all born with a trachea.

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 2 years ago from Central USA

      I wish you luck and it could be anything so don't always assume the worst. It's hard to quit smoking and I stop smoking after 30 years I started smoking e-cigarette's which I also wrote an article on that you can read if you would like and the e-cigarette's have been a miracle to me as I did not think I would ever be able to stop smoking.

      Good luck to you and let me know what the docs say , I will be concerned now and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

      Also, don't blame yourself for your son smoking. My mother smoked ever sense I could remember and I did not start smoking because of her it was because of trying to be cool and impressing my friends in high school.

      You can't take the blame

    • profile image

      Wayne 2 years ago

      I am a 40 year pack a day or more smoker since age 13. Recently I began having a cough and then it stopped and now I have a sore throat that feels different then any I had before. I have this sense of pending doom as well that wakes me up at night. Tomorrow I head to a ENT specialist to get checked out. I hope its nothing. What really bothers me is my 24 year old son smokes, and I can only feel responsible. My parents smoked while alive, and I feel like I passed it on the death sentence to my son. It haunts me now.

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 2 years ago from Central USA

      Thank you Johnny and just so you know I have tried the e-cig and I have been smoke-free for eight months. If you check my other articles I actually wrote an article on the e-cigarette. Let me know if you tried it and if it works for you .. I smoked one and a half packs of cigarettes a day and I quit

    • profile image

      johnny 3 years ago

      Wow. I smoke and this is really interesting. I think I may try e-cig now. Sorry about your dad. Great information and thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Joshua 4 years ago

      Never been any cancer in my family some have been smokers whilst others abstained. The British cancer council who receive millions in funding each year ran a scare campaign over several years, blaming smoking as the sole cause of throat, tongue and mouth cancers. Their campaign worked! Millions of people in the UK stopped smoking. However the incidence of these cancers continues to rise and has nearly doubled over that period. So now they are blaming alcohol. So the funding keeps coming into the cancer council, and to be sure they do not want to loose all that cash.

      What is the real cause (and never mentioned) is fluoride in toothpaste. The human mouth is the highest area of bacteria in the body. Now when you brush with toothpaste containing Fluoride it gives you what they call "the ring of confidence" that all the bacteria in your mouth will be gone after brushing. Only problem with this it also kills the GOOD bacteria your body needs for protection of the throat, mouth and stomach. Also the good and bad bacteria in your saliva from your mouth when swallowed help with digestive system.

      Fluoride does not as promoted protect your teeth, as a by-product of aluminium smelting it does more harm than good. A much better alternative would be toothpaste made from natural products such as Aloe Vera, which not only cleans and protects your teeth, does NOT kill good bacteria and is much kinder on the stomach if swallowed.

      As a final remark smoking though addictive is definitely BAD for the lungs wether it causes lung cancer. If you smell the contents of an ashtray then think what must be the state of my lungs. Then it is an even better reason to give away smoking. Hi and the mon

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 4 years ago from Central USA

      Comments are welcome no matter how hard this story is to read. I would be happy to answer any questions if anyone has any. thank you for reading

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Central USA

      It's a bad bad habit. You think I would stop smoking after witnessing what I did. I cut down a LOT, but not enough. Maybe you can get him to read this hub. As I was writing it, it made me think again about trying to stop. I didn't have enough in me to write all what he went through. That was just the basics. It was heart-wrenching.

    • lorenmurcia profile image

      lorenmurcia 5 years ago

      I voted this up but my laptop has some sort of an issue so I accidentally clicked on the other one. Anyway, nice hub. It made me realize even more the danger of smoking. You see, my husband smokes, too. No matter how I try to coax him to stop his habit, it falls on deaf ears. :(

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