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Dr. Murtuza Laxmidhar talks about a unique case!

August 8, 2018

Dr. Murtuza Laxmidhar, Consultant Surgical Onclogist at Apollo CBCC, recollects one unique case in his lifetime of practice.

“I am working for laryngeal cancer for nearly now more than 20 years but what in my lifespan till now I have seen is one case which I still remember, ‘advanced cancer of larynx’. Patient of around 70 years of age, from the periphery of Rajasthan, had presented to me with advanced cancer of larynx. He could barely speak and there was some fistulous part in the neck which was draining through that laryngeal cancer disease. So at outside, the patient was inoperable and we decided to send him for chemotherapy.

I explained the patient and his relatives that this disease seems to be incurable but we try with the chemotherapy. But to our surprise, after 2 or 3 cycle of chemotherapy, patient had very good response and this patient was further taken up after all work up for the surgery. Again with due explanation that it might recur even if we are able to remove the tumour as a whole. We explored the patient with all prevailing risk and difficulty we encountered after long surgery and with good reconstruction we could finish up the surgery and we could remove a tumour with its lymph node draining area in the neck.

Patient had an advanced disease so he underwent radiotherapy that is the standard protocol in many of the head and neck cancers. So that’s how we completed the treatment and the patient was made disease-free on that moment.

Patient had a lot of zeal even at the age 70, he was very much active. And patient after a follow-up of 8 months opted for the artificial voice box. The patient kept insisting that we put in the voice processor and that he’d like to speak. We advised him to wait for a few more months as there was chance disease might recur because of its advanced stage. But the patient was not ready to wait and with some risk, we put him on TEP (a voice prosthesis) after 10 months of surgery.

Luckily enough, prosthesis worked well and he started speaking so well, and he was so much happy. I think it’s now 15 years that that old man is still living and speaking very well, so I think that’s really a happy moment for me as a cancer surgeon.’

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