Teachers play an integral part in shaping the society through imparting knowledge, etiquettes and values. Their incessant communication instils aspirations and motivates students to achieve the finest. However, in the case of Ms. Kausalya Kumar, her teaching career was at stake when detected with a lump in her throat. Ms. Kausalya Kumar was serving as a teacher in a school at Dharwad, when one day during her class, she felt abnormal difficulty in speaking and then she had to ask one of her students to read from the textbook.
She went on to consult few doctors and after the initial evaluation, a CT scan report suggested supraglottic tumor in the larynx and Lymph glands. As she was a teacher by profession and losing her voice was the biggest nightmare. Determined to fight cancer, Ms. Kausalya Kumar approached HCG Bangalore in 2009. She was examined through a PET CT Scan and reports showed a metabolically active infiltrating mass suggesting active cancer which had also infiltrated the thyroid cartilage in the front, thus showing advanced nature of cancer.
Most of the times in this type of Cancer cases, doctors usually recommend surgery through the removal of the entire vocal cord, followed by tracheostomy and loss of voice but consultants at HCG planned the entire treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, followed by concurrent chemo radiation. Post discussing the procedure with Kausalya as she was determined to be able to speak again, doctors conducted the treatment. She further underwent Intensity Modulated Radio Therapy (IMRT) which helped to get rid of the tumour from the larynx, without removal of my vocal cord in February, 2010.
Laryngeal cancer is the one of most common type of cancer arising in the larynx or the “voice box”. It is a type of head and neck cancer which occurs due to active or passive exposure to tobacco. The initial symptoms to look out for are hoarseness of voice, breathing difficulties, trouble in swallowing, weight loss, neck swelling and persistent cough.
It has now been close to 8 years, since the treatment was successfully completed at HCG with no signs of recurrence. Kausalya visits HCG periodically for regular check-up done through PET CT scan which is used extensively for better diagnosis. Though initial prognosis, which was poor considering the advancement of the tumor, however through a well-planned advance treatment modalities and focus on maintaining the quality of life, Ms. Kausalya Kumar acquired her voice back and resumed her job to continue working as a teacher, serving the students community until her retirement.