Actor Michael Douglas appearing Tuesday night on David Letterman’s “Late Show” announced to fans and viewers alike he has been diagnosed with stage four throat cancer. The actor states he is currently undergoing treatments for the cancer and healthcare practitioners state he has an 80% chance of survival.
The actor had made an appearance on the late night talk show in efforts to promote his new films release, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleep”.
Stage four means the cancer has spread to tissues around the lip and mouth. The lymph nodes possibly can or cannot contain the cancer or the cancer which can be any size has spread to either one or more lymph node on the same side of the neck to lymph nodes on either one or both sides of the neck or to any lymph node which can measure over two inches.
Allen Berry, press agent for the actor stated he is being treated at Manhattan’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Mr. Berry stated to ABCNews.com, that the tumor is at the base of the actors tongue and his doctors diagnosis is for a complete recovery.
In his interview with Letterman the actor stated his diagnosis came early summer, he had been having a sore throat which endured and he had consulted several physicians. When it was inquired as to the severity the actor simply replied “”I am above the neck, so nothing’s gone down”, and that “the expectations are good”.
The actor had admitted to Letterman he use to be a drinker and smoker. According to reports from the New York Times this particular cancer is brought about from drinking and smoking.
Recently this year, Mr. Douglas had appealed to a judge that had pronounced sentencing on the actor’s son Cameron to the term of five years in prison due to drug dealing. He had asked the judge to employ compassion due to the fact there use to be a history of drug and alcohol abuse in the family and he himself had gone through treatment for alcohol abuse in the 1990’s.
The actor has related he currently has finished the first week of an eight week chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. He has described the treatments as “very intense”.
Asides from the fact of announcing the tumor is at stage four, does not wish to reveal what type of throat cancer it is, leaving the world to contemplate.
Throat cancer also referred to as pharyngeal cancer is an extensive term referring to an assortment of cancers which develop in the tissues of the pharynx, which is the tube that begins behind the nose and ends at the top of the windpipe(trachea) and esophagus. Air and food move through pharynx to the trachea or esophagus.
Providing that the cancer began at the tumor located at the base of his tongue, then it is likely Mr. Douglas has orophyaryngeal cancer. This opinion has come from two head and neck medical experts conferred from WebMD.
Cancer of the oropharnyx (orophyaryngeal cancer) is located in the mid part of the pharynx, behind the mouth including the back of one third of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and the side along with the back walls of the throat.
Nearly all of these type of cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, which are thin and flat cancer cells which line the inside of the oropharnyx.
The US National Cancer Institute information states that the risk factors for orophyaryngeal cancer include smoking, chewing tobacco, extreme alcohol use, diets which are low in fruits and vegetables and being infected by the human papilloniavirus (HPV), which is the most usual sexually transmitted virus seen in the United States. A minimum of half the sexually active persons in the United States will obtain genital HPV at some point in their lives.
Influences relating to chances of recovery most often rely upon the stage and grade of the cancer, where tumor is located and if it is linked to HPV infection along with the persons overall health.
A different expert of head and neck cancer had relayed to ABCNews.com, that it is pertinent to know if the cancer was HPV linked, due to the fact this type does react well to chemo and radiotherapy and have a favorable diagnosis.
According to Dr. Kevin Cullen, director of University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, the types linked with smoking and drinking respond satisfactory just not as good.
Dr. Cullen states the survival rates for throat cancer associated with smoking and drinking are about fifty to sixty percent and below however, those with associated HPV related cancers are beyond the eighty percent marker.
Current estimations indicate that 12,720 men and women with throat cancer and that 3,600 will perish from this disease. Conventional treatments consist of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Side effects of these treatments can include earaches, jaw stiffness, nausea, lack of appetite affecting the bodies nutrition, joint pain, fatigue, loss of balance and swelling of the feet of lower legs. Many persons seek out alternative treatments to help aide with the side effects of treatments. Keep in mind there are no alternative treatments that will rid throat, head or neck cancer. Conventional treatments must be pursued. However, alternative treatments to aide in the side effects which occur from chemo or radiation treatments do benefit patients.
Some alternative treatments to help ease the side effects.
There are a great number of plant substances which develop some strong medicines. Since these are organic in nature they are compatible to the human body. They are gentle in their working approach and offer very few toxic side effects. Cancer patients may not be able to consume enough food to provide their body with the proper nutrition required to help aide in things such as strength, metabolism and recovery. Therefore, nutritional supplements offer an alternative to aide with the ability to provide proper nutrition. Please note that some vitamins, supplements and even other alternative treatments can be useful while others may produce no effect at all. There is a small chance that certain herbs, minerals or supplements can harm the body. Therefore your alternative practitioner must be aware of all and any conventional treatments you are undergoing and be able to consult with your primary care physician during their treatment regime.
Your naturopathic practitioner will help guide you to make the proper choices from the list of options which are available geared to your personal needs. They will observe the process of you being treated with the supplement and vitamins to make sure they are working appropriately. Not to mention your safety from any possible drug to herb or drug to nutrient reactions which can happen.
If you find it difficult to swallow pills a lot of the supplements and herbs come in liquid form. A few that may be recommend are slippery elm bark which can be dissolved in liquid. It aides in swallowing by coating the throat and stomach. Other herbs can be licorice, white bark and eucalyptus.
The herbs used in Chinese medicine provide relief from symptoms due to chemo or radiation treatments, to help boost immune system and aide in reduction of the size of tumor. Some of the herbs which may be used consist of Oldenlandia and Selaginaella which when used in conjunction with chemo or radiation therapy it has shown to speed up remission.
Acupuncture used with moxibustion treatment which is a type of fire heat treatment which activates particular acupuncture points of the body. It is most often used in patients with breast, head, neck or throat cancer.
Chiropractic treatment can aide in reduction of the pain and suffering associated with the cancer along with improving the patients overall health. It is inexpensive and effective treatment. Their treatments can aide in life quality regardless of the stage the cancer is in. The treatments could include manipulations, soft tissue techniques and physio-therapeutic modalities such as exercise, particular manipulations and tens.Sources:
Medical News Today
National Cancer Institute