Tim­bre in 23-year-old man’s laugh­ter turns out to be can­cer in wind­pipe

7-Hr Surgery To Re­move Rare Tu­mour

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Wind­pipe

Mum­bai: It was a mother’s in­stinct that forced 23-year-old Ro­han to visit his fam­ily doc­tor late in Septem­ber in Bhandup. She felt the tim­bre of his laugh­ter had changed—some­thing his friends noted over the next few days. “Ev­ery­one felt that I had sud­denly de­vel­oped a phony laugh­ter,” he said.

But the ca­sual doc­tor’s visit, over the next three weeks, led to the dis­cov­ery of a rare can­cer­ous tu­mour grow­ing in Ro­han’s tra­chea or wind­pipe. The tra­chea is a car­ti­lagi­nous tube that con­nects the phar­ynx and lar­ynx to the lungs and es­sen­tially al­lows the pas­sage of air. It di­vides into two bronchi or pas­sages to the two lungs. Tracheal can­cers are clas­si­fied as a type of lung can­cer (ac­count­ing for 0.2 to 0.3 %), which is one of the fastest grow­ing can­cers in terms of num­bers across In­dia.

Ro­han, a third-year BSc stu­dent of com­puter science, has since un­der­gone a sev­en­hour-long surgery to re­move four rings of his tra­chea and un­der­gone 20 days of ra­di­a­tion treat­ment. “He is do­ing well at the mo­ment and even man­aged to give some of his mid-term papers,” said doc­tors Swap­nil Kapote and Man­ish Chan­dra who are in charge of his treat­ment at Jupiter Hos­pi­tal in Thane.

Di­ag­no­sis was tricky in Ro­han’s case, but the surgery too was equally so. “I took an­tibi­otics for two weeks, but it didn’t help. Then the spe­cial­ist whom my fam­ily doc­tor re­ferred me to asked me to un­dergo a CT scan,” said Ro­han. A CT scan cen­tre in Mu­lund re­peated the scans twice be­fore they zoomed in on the can­cer spot.

Dr Kapote said, “The tu­mour was grow­ing at a tricky

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