A habitual smoker and an alcoholic, Mr Pramod paid no heed to the repeated requests of his well wishers and his family members on giving up his destructive habits. The situation became worse when we started having difficulty in even swallowing food. There was hoarsness in his voice and it felt as if he was suffering from persistent sore throat infection. He lost his appetite and started to even have difficulty while chewing food. “ The pain was becoming worse with every passing day. I couldn’t eat or sleep. My family members all said that it is bad karma.” After a lot of recommendations, Pramod decided to consult Dr Shekhar Keshri, Consultant Radiation Oncology at Paras HMRI Hospital, Patna. A few tests highlighted that he had advanced stage of Carcinoma Oropharynx also known as oral or oropharyngeal cancer.
According to Dr Shekhar Keshri, an expert with extensive experience of more than 14 years in the field of Cancer Care, “Oropharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the oropharynx. Smoking or being infected with human papillomavirus can increase the risk of oropharyngeal cancer. Signs and symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer include a lump in the neck and a sore throat.” He further highlights that , “Due to the persistent alcohol and tobacco abuse , Pramod’s situation was quite advanced. He had developed generalized cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body due to severe chronic illness). The PET Scan study and the other diagnostic tests revealed that the location of the tumor was such that it could not be operated upon. We designed a treatment plan especially for him which was a combination of highly conformal radiation and concurrent chemo therapy.”
Pramod was recommended radical therapy with weekly chemotherapy plan. He was treated with fourth generation linear accelerator delivered IMRT for the primary tumor. After seven weeks of rigorous treatment there was no visible or residual disease left in the body. For the past two years Pramod has been coming for regular follow up and he now leads to a healthy and disease free life.
He smiles and says only in one sentence that he learnt it the harder way that one should not subject oneself to destructive habits at all.