A regional daily editor who was given the all-clear from throat cancer earlier this year has been told the illness has returned.
He underwent a course of radiotherapy over the summer which he described in a series of first-person pieces in the paper under the title “Keep Smiling.”
But despite initially being given the all-clear after the treatment was concluded in August, he has now learned that the cancer is still present.
Dave, 53, underwent further laser surgery on his voice-box in an attempt to remove the tumour.
However he is is now facing the prospect of a full or partial laryngectomy after doctors told him that the latest treatment had been unsuccessful.
Wrote Dave: “It had been known all along that while laser surgery was my best chance of retaining a voice, the position of the tumour on the left vocal cord was always going to make it a tricky removal.”
He said his options were now “somewhat stark” – either the partial or complete removal of his larynx – and described himself as being “between the devil and the deep blue sea.”
He went on: “I may be heading for a hemilaryngectomy, which is the partial removal of larynx. This leaves you with some voice but can cause issues with the function of swallowing – it may lead to be being fed artificially.
“The other is a total laryngectomy which gets rid of the cancer altogether but takes the voice box with it. But you do retain the ability to eat and swallow.
“When I set out on this journey I thought it was a battle to keep my voice at all cost because of the job that I do.
“Now I am not so sure.”
Between May and August, Dave underwent 16 sessions of radiotherapy at Oldham’s Christie Hospital.
In a previous first-person piece, he recalled the moment his consultant told him: “Well the tumour has gone and the vocal cords look clear and normal.”
He told HTFP: “It’s not the news that I wanted but that’s how it goes. I will find out in the next couple of weeks what the timeline is.
“It all seems a bit of a blur at the moment… April (You have cancer) July (All clear) Sept (It’s back – or more accurately never went away) and now Nov (laser surgery not possible – voice box removal next step!)”