My Dad has Throat Cancer

A sinus problem and soreness in the throat for over a month prompted my dad to finally visit the doctors, and they saw a tumor in his throat. My dad has cancer, and we won’t know more until Tuesday when he will have a biopsy done. I’ve known for a couple of days now and I’m still in shock about it. I realize the only thing we can do is stay positive and hope for the best. I knew all the years of smoking and heavy drinking would catch up to him at some point, but I didn’t think it’d do so when he’s in his 50’s. That’s too early for me, although anytime is never a good time when it comes to cancer.

Our relationship is a pretty good one. We disagree on a lot of things, mostly when it comes to career, but I’m very lucky to have a father who is also my best friend. We are both life-long Florida Gators fan, we both love baseball (I’m a Braves fan, he’s a Phillies fan), and we have similar tastes in rock music, fashion choices, and movies. My dad is hip and anyone he works with enjoys his company. He’s a people person, he knows how to make those around him comfortable and he is one of the most gracious host I’ve ever known. He is overwhelming unselfish when he has money, willing to help those around him when they need something. He’s in really good shape for his age; he likes to go out everyday and play basketball with the kids at the local college.

I love my dad, and he will not die. Not to cancer. He doesn’t have my permission to die.

Update: After radiation treatments, he is now in remission. There’s no trace of cancer cells in his body. I posted about this here. Thank you to everyone that gave support and kindness.

46 Responses to “My Dad has Throat Cancer”

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  1. horai

    I’m not a religious man but I’ll say this Matt. You and your dad will be in my thoughts constantly and I wish for the best results possible. You have my email address if you need it.

  2. I’m very sorry about your dad, Matt. I hope you’re doing ok.

    My grandfather was diagnosed with throat cancer several years ago, I’m happy to say he beat it and is still going strong. In fact, I ran into him at Home Depot just the other day as he was buying materials to finish the roof over a new extension he built on his house this summer. After that he’s going to build a second garage to tinker in! He’s in his late 70’s!

    Cancer does not have to be the end of the road. Your dad is young and sounds strong. He’ll beat this. Stay positive.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about that. That’s got to be an awful thing to go through. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.

  4. Thank you everyone for your kind words and support. I’m not sure how I will personally handle it, but he seems unfazed by it. I should have more information in a couple of days as to the nature of the tumor, and I have high hopes it will bear good news.

  5. Cindy

    (((((( Matt ))))))

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad! I’ve been wondering how you were doing lately, not seeing any posts from you in a while. Keep positive, and believe positive! Your Dad sounds like he’s in good physical condition, and that ALWAYS helps in situations like this! You and yours are in my thoughts! Call me if you need to talk.

  6. I just wanted to chime in real quick. I am terribly sorry to hear about your father. Please know that I am deeply empathetic to your situation and wish you and your father “love, medicine and miracles” for what may come next along your journey in life.

    As a 10-year survivor of pediatric brain cancer, I felt the need to say that there is a marked difference in how cancer survivors of all ages view their diagnosis today. No longer bys tanders to their own disease, they are more educated, more involved and more empowered than ever before. These 10,000,000+ Americans are living proof that it’s not about what you had, it’s that you’re s till here; and that it’s not about how long you live but how you live that begs to answer the ques tion: “What does it mean to be a cancer survivor?”.

    You and your father are not alone. This is why I founded Steps For Living, the only cancer advocacy group addressing cancer survivorship culturally through music and the arts.

    Now get busy living.

    Matthew Zachary
    10 Year Pediatric Cancer Survivor
    http://StepsForLiving.org

  7. Julie

    Matt,

    My dad was just diagnosed with esophagael cancer on 12/30. He begins radiation and chemotherapy next week. He is 84 years old and has heart problems so surgery was not an option. Anyway, you are in my thoughts and prayers. It isn’t easy being the child having a parent have to face such a disease. We have to stay strong and believe that they will win this battle. Best of luck!

    Julie

  8. Nicole

    I am very sorry for you and your family, I know all about this disease and what it does. My father is 55 and he is in the hospital right now, fighting for his life. My dad was first diagnosed in 2003 and they told him he had 3 to 6 months. When he went in to do a scope test to take pictures of it, this was about 4 months after diagnosis, the Dr. was flabergasted, the tumer had disappeared! I thought , “What a miricle!” He was o.k. until about Thanksgiving of 2005, we noticed that he didn’t really eat much, of course he blew us all off and acted like he just wasn’t hungry. Three days before Christmas, he was rushed to the emergency room because he couldn’t breathe. Test showed he was highly anemic, his hemoglobin count was 4, in a matter of days, he was given 20 something pints of blood. You see, he had two new tumors, one right on top of the first one and one below. The one below is what they call Barrett’s esophagus, it was where it attaches to the stomach. My dad had chemo and radiation again on the one below first, to stop the bleeding so that he wouldn’t have to keep being given blood. The cancer was stage IV and there was nothing to be done for a cure, so he decided not to even treat the one on top. My dad used to weigh over 200 pounds, he weighs 120 today. It is very hard to see him waste away, he can no longer swallow at all, that is why he is in the hspital right now. Sometimes I feel angry with him because I know he was having the symptoms again and he just chose to ignore them until it was too late. Sometimes I’m angry with myself because looking back, I should have seen the signs myself. My prayers are with you and your family. Even though our situation is not good I still do believe in miricles and I hope your dad has one too.

  9. Linda

    well, i was just told earlier today that my mom has a tumer in her throat. She has been throwing up for a month now my aunt said and has lost so much wieght. I went yesterday to see her. Well, today the test came back and they admitted her to another hospital for treatment. I’m so scared. They said it doesn’t look good.I have to wait till wednesday to go see her. I live far away. I have to take my daughter out of school for the rest of the week so i can go see my mom. Remember my mom(marie) in your prayers.

  10. I’m really sorry to hear that Linda. Me and my family will certainly pray for your mother. Here’s to a swift recovery for her.

  11. linda

    Update on my mom. Well she died Aug. 11,2006 at 2:30. Come to find out (I wrote u on May 9,2006) she had 7 tumars on her liver and stomach cancer and liver cancer and eshophogas cancer and internal bleeding. We were told she had 3 months and she passed on her 3rd month. She really suffered in the nursing home where my aunt had to put her for care. I’m glad God took her on home to be with him. God Bless your dad and u in Jesus name. Write me anytime- Linda (Georgia-U.S.)

  12. Elizabeth

    At 53 my mother who had smoked for 30 yrs was told that she has throat cancer two weeks ago. It is about .5 cm, but they are not sure if it spread to other areas of the body. She is going to be having a lot of test done this week and will get the results next tuesday. I am pretty scared to loose her. I already lost my father 2yrs ago. She is the only parent I have left. I want my daughter to have a grandmother, but I dont’t know what will happen.

    She is in high spirits and is in the best moods of her life. I do not know if this is a front or if she is thinking to herself “If I am going to die..I will be happy for the time I have”.

    I feel for you and your dad. At least I realize that we are not alone.

    Liz

  13. Jolanda

    My thought and prayers are with everyone when this touches the lives of our loved ones! My grandmother was diagnosed summer 06 and finished her radiation & chemo treatment. She has no sign of the tumor & no sign of any cancer cells. The power of prayer really works.

    Jolanda

  14. Tamara

    Do you have an update?
    My father in law is searching quickly for some information regarding his own throat cancer recent diagnosis, and I would appreciate any update you could provide or any research you could give info on regarding this specific diagnosis. Especially on “thoughts” about the different available treatments, radiation especially.
    Thank you.
    Tamara
    radiateyourjoy@comcast.net
    Thanks.

  15. Einar

    My dad has throat cancer not until today did I know how bad it is, when the doctor who I hate told me simply without any feeling and emotion that my dad’s throat cancer doesnt have much chances. we live in luxembourg which is relatively small country and this doctor is one of the only ones we have available. I was hoping maybe you could give me some information relating to the cancer. My father has set in his mind that he will fight thats all he told me and he never mentioned anything about how bad his cancer was. I am only 16 years old but I understand fairly alot for my age and I would appreciate some Information concerning this subject as I will do anything to heal my father, If I could choose between him and myself I would choose myself to be the one who has the cancer. Please help me. burningbolt@gmail.com

    I really know how terrible this must feel for you, as I know how I am feeling right now. I dont know how I could hold myself so strongly together with spilling any tears yet, but I feel like im gonna break soon mentally… Please help me

  16. Broncofan in New England

    having cancer sucks, I have stage 4 ,I have a 2 in tumor on the back of my tounge,it has also spread to my lympnoids and through out my throat,I found out about 3 weeks ago,they want to put in a feed tube and give me 15 weeks ,5 days a week of radiation that will distroy lots of tisue in my throat,with chemo. I would also have to be on morphine for the pain I would not be ale to swallow,for who knows how long ,lose my taste buds ,saliva glands,have perminit ringing in my ears,and in all a basic vegable for a while,and it might not remove the cancer after all this.What does one do ????I think I may just live out my life as long as I can as close to normal as possible. 5/12/07

  17. Steve

    There are alot of hearbs that I have been reading on. one substance is Zeolite. I myself have several lumps in my neck. I will not go to the doctor yet. I have read to many good reports on using hearbs instead of conventional treatments. The main thing is to boost your imune system so it can fight the cancer naturally. Different hearbs work with different cancers. Another herbal substance is noni juice. Here is a site for info: http://www.cancerfightingstrategies.com/?engine=adwords!800&keyword=(throat cancer)&match_type=

  18. Steve .. Thanks for the great comment .. I looked into the zeolite and just ordered some from a zeolite site.

    I researched and read it alot .. it seems to help with cancer

  19. hey i just found your blog at we101. Cool. I’m very happy about your dad. That’s cool. He’s a good looking guy. Tell him to enjoy his life.

  20. I am so happy about your dad, I am about to go see an ENT next week because I have had an earache for about 2 months & a swollen node in my neck. I am scared to death but reading stories like this make me feel so much better. I have not been diagnosed with anything but yet I feel like this may be the end of my 26 year old life.

  21. i am so sorry to here about your dad.but very happy is okay
    god will always take of you and your family. keep your faith
    and god bless you and your family.

  22. Mary

    My beloved father, who is 73, has just been diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer and has to have major surgery just after Xmas – I am an only child and am scared to death, but he is being very brave and upbeat – I dread it and my thoughts go out to everyone else who has suffered from the dreaded big C.

  23. whitney

    my dad might have cancer how do i let that not get to me?

  24. If you love him, it’s going to get to you. There’s no stopping that. If you mean how to stay strong in front of him, then just don’t dwell on it and focus on the positive. But eventually you’re going to have to address it, think about it, and deal with it.

  25. Tina

    My dad was also diagnosed with throat cancer. They said it was as big around as a golf ball and as long as your pointy finger. That was after for months of hearing that it was a throat infection. He has had radiation and taken growth inhibiters. they say it looks like its gone but still has his last biopsy to be sure soon. Please keep us in your prayers.

  26. cheryl

    My brother has been battling throat cancer for over a year now. He did 6 wks of radiation therapy and chemotherapy,He went through alot of pain. His neck was burnt from the radiation. He had no taste. Then his legs and stomach swelled up from the reaction to the chemo. He has a trach in his throat. They kept doing test and finally said that the tumor was gone and they could not see anything, except alot of inflammation. It has almost been a year and now they say it has come back!! I HATE CANCER. Now he cant even swallow food or water. He is starving to death. They want to put in a feeding tube, but he doesn’t want it. I told him he needs to so that he can get nutrition. I think he is going to but he has lost about 30 pds in the last 3 wks. He is giving up. He said it is hell to live like this…cant eat cant sleep pain in throat. Lots of aspiration out of trach. It is hard for me too and I am the only one helping him. It is so hard to see him going down like this….I am trying so hard to keep hope and faith. I pray that God will heal us all.

  27. Rebekah

    I was diagnosed with a complex cyst on my thyroid. I see a

    throat specialist on April 11 to determine if anything more is

    going on in that area. The cyst could not be ruled out as

    cancer. I have to have a thyroidectomy in the coming

    weeks. I’m scared. Please pray for me as my thoughts and

    prayers go out to others…

    Rebekah

  28. Robin

    My dad died almost 5 years ago (4/8/03) from throat cancer after battling this dragon for 1 1/2 years of pain and suffering. He had gone for radiation and then total laryngectomy then more radiation then chemo. Cheryl, your brother must get a feeding tube or he will die.
    And a word of advice for all you caregivers out there–get someone to help you, even if it is someone you must pay for. The caregiver never gets a break. If you don’t take care of yourself, your immune system depletes and you will get sick. Then you’re of no help to anyone.
    My father had been misdiagnosed with ‘allergies’. He was given nose sprays and allergy pills. This went on for a year. Finally they had done a scope and found it was cancer. We started to take him to all the best hospitals from Miami to Tampa, to New York, but by then it was too late. Everything bad that could happen, did happen.
    This is a terrible disease.
    I wish you all peace and good luck in your quest for good health.
    Slay that dragon!
    Robin

  29. Elizabeth

    My partner has battled throat cancer for almost two years. We are moving into the final weeks of her life and she will spend that time at home thanks to the assistance of our regional hospice. She has had radiation, chemo, and finally a radical neck dissection and larnygectomy (in Dec ’07) and hasn’t been home yet, due to failed TEP prosthesis for speech (HUGE MISTAKE!!!!!), fistulae, blocked feeding tubes, seizures, crashing sodium and magnesium levels, along with pre-existing cardiac and circulatory problems. The 10-14 day hospital stay for surgery has turned into a 4 month ordeal of misery; in fact before her returning home, her disease has returned. We have finally had enough, and there are no more treatments being offered. So, she is essentially coming home to die. I am having no luck in getting any information about how her life may actually end, except that she may have a carotid “blow-out,” as her disease has recurred around the carotid artery and is compromising its “integrity.” Aside from dropping that bit of information, doctors are really very hesitant to discuss what we need to know to be emotional prepared to deal with what will actually happen. Does anyone have any good websites that will not shirk from a frank discussion of end-of-life issues.

    Bless all of you who are fighting the good fight, my prayers for your health, strength and happiness are with you…may you emerge victorious.

  30. Sheri

    Elizabeth: Kubler-Ross works on death and dying are still the best to help you, I believe.
    http://changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/kubler_ross/kubler_ross.htm

    She wrote a book about the stages of dying and I see us all go through them in one way or another. My mom died from lung cancer 11 years ago and I prepared by writing poetry and her eulogy. My dad has throat cancer now. (Stage 4 recurrent.) Most of the family appears to be in denial but he is on hospice (again) and not coming out of it this time.

    Death is a sad part of living for all of us on this earth.

    You know your loved ones will ultimately be at peace. Personally, I’m looking to sleep a little. It is, indeed, stressful.

  31. Kathi

    Just a reminder for those of you who have a loved one who has passed or are dealing with the stress of treatment and worry.
    In order to hurt so deeply, we had to have loved profoundly. In that love, we have already been blessed. Keep the memories as a reminder every day.
    For every tear we shed now, think of a smile from time past.

  32. SHANNON

    My father in law was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. I lost my dad 3 years ago to multiple myeloma. I have 2 little girls. The older one is 8. She remembers loosing her pop pop and we still pray for him till today. How do I explain to her that her grampa is seriousouly ill now or do I not? She realizes that he cannot speak the same and others notice that although he has always been thin that he is even thinner now. My husband fortunately does not know the cancer process and the loss of someone close. Although I pray for the best outcome for my father in law I know what the news of cancer does to all the loved ones and I cant belive this is happening again. Once again greiving. My husband is trying to get him on an alkaline non acidic diet with hopes for a dramatic turn around. Is there anyone out there with hopeful advice?

  33. Sharyn

    My dad’s been battling throat cancer for a little over a year now and it’s not looking good. I just got word he went into intensive care last night with a massive infection and pneumonia – that’s what did in my father-in-law and I’m afraid this is it. I’m far away so I’m getting everything via phone calls. He did radiation, then it came back, so he had surgery – then it came back. Then he started chemo and has deteriorated ever since – the surgery site never healed, he has a feeding tube but is down to 120 lbs. This is a 6’1″ 63 year old athlete. My poor mom, she lost her mother right when this was all starting last year. Nasty, nasty stuff.

  34. This is a very informative post, i was searching in google for Stomach Cancer and came across this post. My niece is suffering from Stomach Cancer, information mention in this article will greatly help me in offering her some advice
    thank you

  35. Eric

    I am 33 yrs old and have been a smoker for 10 yrs. 1.5 yrs ago i went to the ENT doctor and with what i can only describe as throat cramps and rawness. He said I was clean and ordered a CT scan and it came back negative…good news right? Well here we are and I am having the same symptoms again . Only this time it is accompanied by nose sores, headaches, stiff neck and jaw stiffness. Can anyone relate to my symptoms and does this sound anything like a type of throat cancer? I am getting very scared here!

  36. My dad has throat cancer.we got over a stge 2 tumour, but no!! here we go again,. they are talking full voice box removal. he is 83 and not n the bst of health,. i am looking after them. help!!!!

  37. just need some one to talk to. my dad had a tumour grade 2. but after treatment it has come back. he will need a full throat box removal i think. He is 83 and i love him to bits……………. cant stop crying.

  38. Rakesh

    Hi,

    We are facing similar thing as my father diagnosed with “moderately differentiated squamous cell of carcinoma” in biopsy. Please suggest the things need to do and consider now.

  39. Victor J. Cruz

    My aunt has just been diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer….what shall I do? Are there 4 or 5 stages? What are that the percentages of living for someone in this stage and for how long? Is there a cure???

    Javier

  40. Hello,
    My name is Courtney, my father was recently diagnosed with throat cancer in his voice box. he had surgery a couple days ago they said all cancer cells are gone im scared that its going to come back he has no insurance and the state of illionis will not help him luckly we live right next to iowa they covered 100% of his bills. he is my hero without him who would i be? I love you daddy!!!!

  41. Mandy

    Hi I just found out today that my dad has throat cancer and I don’t know what to do I seen that you have almost the exact same story as me so thought maybe you could help

  42. Crystal

    All of your stories are touching and all to familiar. My father was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer this christmas. He has already been through surgery with a feeding tube and trach. Chemo and radiation is done but now it seems that hes in worse pain than ever. His throat cancer is gone but it spread to his bones a little and they’ve recently biopsied his liver bc there was something unexplainable on that. It is difficult to see him in his condition, less than 100lbs and not being able to eat. god bless him and what my mom is going through trying to help him. I believe in miracles too, and prayer…It is comforting to know that there are others going through this. God bless everyone!

  43. Anand

    Matt…Sorry to hear that.Will keep our prayers for speedy recovery of your DAD. He will go long way :-)

    My DAD too has a larynx cancer at 3rd stage with 2nd Grade.
    Request every one for their blessings and information on Radio Therapy (IMRT).

    Hope my DAD will get well soon. I PRAY TO ALMIGHTY.

  44. What’s up to all, for the reason that I am genuinely eager of reading this website’s post to be updated regularly.
    It consists of fastidious data.

  45. Rita Davis

    My dad was told he had throat cancer on June 12, 2013. He went home and had a heart attack that night. He went to the hospital and died two week latter. He was 80 years old in pretty good health. I’m glad your dad is in his 50’s because the doctors told us if he had been younger he would have made a recovery. God bless you and let you dad decide what he wants to do. No one told us our options until it was to late.

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