- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Throat Cancer Symptoms, Causes and Treatments -Warning Signs-My Father's Story
Smoking | Drinking | Cancer
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. 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).
Early Signs Of Throat Cancer
My father's first symptoms, 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 so we really didn't even give it a second thought.
Guide Book For Caregivers
After a few weeks, my father started complaining his sore throat was getting worse and when he spoke, It was very raspy and deep sounding. I would say it was roughly within another month or so that he started to literally 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 passed it off (I'm assuming) as a man who drank a lot, smoked and had a sore throat. The spitting and coughing up blood was either bright red or dark. As a couple more weeks passed, you could see that he was starting to get extremely worried.
He would then start his journey of really searching for answers locally at the family Dr. again. We had no reason to think that these were even throat cancer, 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 the 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 continue to trickle down his chin even when he was sleeping. We would hurry up and go get clean wet wash towels to clean the blood off his lips, mouth and chi; It was gut wrenching. We felt so helpless and not getting any answers, did not help.
Bleeding And Throat 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.
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
- 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
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
Coughing up blood
Changes in your voice (ie., hoarseness)
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.
Throat Cancer Treatment
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.
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
Now, God forbid any of you reading this has throat cancer, I don't mean to give you such a grim outlook. My father's cancer was too far gone for them to do anything at all. Below, are some signs 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.
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.