67-year-old man affected with tongue cancer, now urges people to give up tobacco

He neglected it but to his worst nightmare, the entire tongue started to get affected and in a matter of time the entire tongue was all covered with red and white matter. Timely intervention puts him on a sustained recovery path sans surgical intervention

Oral

It was not long ago that 67-year-old Shivaji Thorat was running from pillar to post to get out of one of the worst situations of his life.

His habit of chewing tobacco had landed him in a point of almost no return. Initially it was some kind soreness due to white and red plaques on the tongue which caused difficulty in eating.

He could not swallow, could not speak. In fact he developed a situation called staccato speech, which resembles the difficulty in speaking  if a hot potato or tomato is kept on the tongue. He tried out treatments at some places but to no avail and finally landed up at Ruby Hall Clinic where he met Consultant Oncologist Dr Minish Jain.

Dr Minish Jain said that when Mr Thorat came to us 5 months back, his tongue was in a bad condition . He had advanced inoperable tongue cancer and with PET scan it was established that the cancer had expanded from tip to the back or the innermost side of the tongue .

Mr Thorat said that initially I was in shock when I heard that I had oral cancer. Never in my imagination did I think I could one day be affected by Cancer. I didn’t know what to do. But it was the persistence of Dr Jain who encouraged me to give up tobacco and start treatment , that I found the ray of hope.

Dr Minish Jain added, “After examining him, we found that the tongue was inoperable. Surgery was not an option and we had to establish feeding tube and then go for induction chemotherapy. After 3 sessions of chemotherapy, he had significant regression. Following induction chemotherapy he was started on chemo- radiation. Although there is a long way to go before he could steer clear of this cancer, he is certainly on a sustained path of progress .The message is clear, don’t smoke or drink or indulge in tobacco chewing. Stop it immediately with professional help if needed as these habits are life threatening. If at all one develops any symptoms, it is advisable to visit the doctor immediately and start the treatment.”

“I am grateful to Dr Minish Jain that I could come out of this helpless situation without a surgery.  I would tell all people I meet to stay away from these bad habits and have a good and healthy life,” said Mr Thorat.