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Man Survives Close Shave with Throat Cancer

  • November 1, 2005
  • Number of views: 2442
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George Harvilla''s life changed when he noticed a lump in his neck while shaving. “It seemed strange and I made an appointment with my family doctor a week or so later,” says the 74-year old from O''Fallon, IL.

He''s glad he did. The lump turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma and his tonsil was cancerous. Harvilla was referred to Bruce Haughey, MBChB, FACS, director of head and neck cancer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Haughey scheduled Harvilla for surgery to remove the tonsil, part of his tongue and lymph nodes on his neck.

“Using a minimally invasive protocol, the tumor was removed to a safety margin with a CO2 laser,” says Dr. Haughey. “It''s a technique that minimizes disruption of speech and swallowing and has equivalent or better results than conventional approaches.”

Now on radiation as a precaution, Harvilla says he''s confident he''s beaten cancer, thanks not only to his own positive attitude, but thanks to Dr. Haughey as well.

“He was tremendous,” says Harvilla. “If I had any questions, he was always there. I couldn''t praise him or the people at Barnes-Jewish enough.”

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