Singers with thyroid cancer?

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RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by Angelle530 on Sun Apr 29, 2012 03:57 AM

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I had a total thyroidectomy on July 21, 2011. I'm struggling with about a 20 pound weight gain since then (even though chemically I'm HYPERthyroid go figure)...but even more frustrating for me is the fact that my voice has changed. I am a singer as well, and I have never experienced such vocal fatigue. Unfortunately for me, I cannot even get through 1 full song before losing my voice. My vocal chords get exhausted, and my voice becomes hoarse. I'm devastated about it and as careful as my surgeon was I am burdened with this. Not everyone will experience this, but it is a complication. I am a Registered Nurse, but have been singing my whole life. My major in college was music prior to becoming a nurse. I am 29, exhausted, sad, NOW overweight, and losing my voice! Thyroid Cancer SUCKS!!!!! I'm here if you need to vent!

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by Big_Randcom on Sun Apr 29, 2012 02:14 PM

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So sorry to hear that your struggling. I will say that it was a full 3 years before my voice returned completely to normal. Have you looked into vocal therapy? I have heard that some patients need to re-strengten thier vocal cords after surgery. I too am struggling with weight gain. If I drive past McDonalds, I gain a pound! Hang in there and don't give up!

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by tinkerton on Tue May 08, 2012 05:25 PM

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On Jun 01, 2007 12:00 AM Dorabella wrote:

 

On 5/7/2007 Ric1312 wrote:

I just found out I have papillarry thyroid cancer.  My doctor told me the procedure was to romove the thyroid.  And that the surgury would likely leave my singing voice unuseable.   I don't just sing a little in choir or something. It's my life.   As you can imagine I'm crushed. 

I've worked my whole life to get my voice where it is and keep it in shape.

He said that there was even a chance a vocal cord could become paralized if nerves were damaged, although this is a slight chance.

 But, he said my singing voice would definately be damaged because of all the muscles they would have to go around to get to the thyroid. (or something like that)  He said, best case scenario my singing voice would be back to maybe 90% or so, but more likely around 70%.

 I'm sorry if I sound like a baby whining about a non life threatening cancer. (At least as far as I know, I'm going for a full scan soon)

 I did have a couple questions.  What happens if I elect to not get the surgery. Does the cancer always spread?  Is it possible it won't go any further, or at least won't until I'm a few more decades older? What is the life expectancy of untreated thyroid cancer and the quality of life?

 Does anyone know of singers that made full recoveries, singing wise, from removal of the thyroid gland?


I am a classical singer who teaches and works as a professional and I am sure glad I didn't have your surgeon because you can indeed regain your voice and all of it but it will take several years.   I had surgery almost 2 years ago and I am in my fifties.  It has taken the better part of 2 years but I can sing most of the soprano repertoire again and about every 6 weeks I gain back an ability lost by the surgery.  Yes the muscles will be cut into and the scar tissue takes a year to be supple again but I sang professionally 5 months after my surgery, instead of a being a soprano I was an alto for almost a year.  If you would like more info I will gladly share what has happened to me and perhaps I can help you with exercises or just support.  God bless

 

Hi - I know this was awhile ago - but I had a hemithyroidectomy 8 months ago (May 2012). I am a professional singer and had a 3 octave trained voice before the surgery. I am still struggling to sing across my break and have lost control and also the top octave. I would love to know what exercises you did to regain your voice? Best wishes.

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by McTai on Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:52 PM

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I am not a professional singer but I sing in church choir, a tenor and Ihave my TT three months ago. Anything happened to my voice ? I could only whisper after the surgery and now I can talk a little louder but with  a very hoarse voice. Sometimes I feel my voice is clearer but most of time very husky, cranky.. The last time I sang was the Sunday before my operation. I told myself in church when singing that it could be my last chance to sing with my full voice and I sang with all my heart. Then my tears came down.... I haven't been able to sing since.

I am a professor who needs to talk everyday. My vocal cords and my throat never got a time to rest. I wonder if that delays my recovery. My doctor said it takes about 3 months to get my voice back but it is three months now, I am still the same. I am so disheartened.

Hope you have a better luck than me.

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by shortstuff23 on Sun Jun 17, 2012 02:22 AM

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I sing! And I recovered just fine after my thyroidectomy 4 years ago! For both of my surgeries (TT and neck dissection) My dad requested that my surgeon work hand in hand with an ENT to make sure they didn't cut any crutial nerves (just to make sure the doctors did a REALLY good job, I threatened them before my surgery :) Anyway, I have my full range, nothing has changed from before my surgeries, I'm still a lyrical soprano. Best wishes to you <3 I know things will go well

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by tinkerton on Sun Jun 17, 2012 06:04 AM

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On Jun 17, 2012 2:22 AM shortstuff23 wrote:

I sing! And I recovered just fine after my thyroidectomy 4 years ago! For both of my surgeries (TT and neck dissection) My dad requested that my surgeon work hand in hand with an ENT to make sure they didn't cut any crutial nerves (just to make sure the doctors did a REALLY good job, I threatened them before my surgery :) Anyway, I have my full range, nothing has changed from before my surgeries, I'm still a lyrical soprano. Best wishes to you <3 I know things will go well

Thanks for  posting. I have already had the operation - last August, 2011. I had and have a multi-disciplinary team carring out the operation and post-op follow-up.

I glad am so glad you have your full range. I do not. The voice consultant says he has known voices to come back after 18 months - but the usual recovery time is 6 weeks to 3 months.

I cannot access my head voice - because the superior laryngeal nerve is for some reason not working. It may be damaged, or it may be bruised. This means that the left vocal cord doesn't stretch to make pitches.

I am a voice singing teacher as well as a professional singer. I am devastated by the loss of my voice - and desperate to regain what I had.

Please - if anyone out there knows of any exercises I can do - or anything theraputic I can engage with that will wake up the nerve - I will be very grateful.

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by shortstuff23 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 03:34 AM

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I wish I knew more about it to help :( I have a really rough transition from chest voice to head voice which I know I had before surgery because I cannot sing alto to save my life, but from what I remember, when I came back to school after surgery, my choir teacher would meet with me after school and make me practice exercises and scales, the "Mee-ahh" one helped me because certain times of the year I can't get my voice up as high as it can go, I'm not sure if it would help if your nerves are injured but that's what I did to get mine back in shape. (Ironically, that choir teacher's wife was recovering from thyroid cancer surgery as well)

I know you would appreciate my motto "Sing everyday, just because there was chance I never could again!"

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by tinkerton on Tue Jun 19, 2012 05:49 AM

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On Jun 19, 2012 3:34 AM shortstuff23 wrote:

I wish I knew more about it to help :( I have a really rough transition from chest voice to head voice which I know I had before surgery because I cannot sing alto to save my life, but from what I remember, when I came back to school after surgery, my choir teacher would meet with me after school and make me practice exercises and scales, the "Mee-ahh" one helped me because certain times of the year I can't get my voice up as high as it can go, I'm not sure if it would help if your nerves are injured but that's what I did to get mine back in shape. (Ironically, that choir teacher's wife was recovering from thyroid cancer surgery as well)

I know you would appreciate my motto "Sing everyday, just because there was chance I never could again!"

Thanks. Doesn't really help but I appreciate the spirit. :)

RE: Singers with thyroid cancer?

by tmdhaines on Fri Feb 17, 2017 04:29 PM

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On May 07, 2007 12:00 AM Ric1312 wrote:

I just found out I have papillarry thyroid cancer.  My doctor told me the procedure was to romove the thyroid.  And that the surgury would likely leave my singing voice unuseable.   I don't just sing a little in choir or something. It's my life.   As you can imagine I'm crushed. 

I've worked my whole life to get my voice where it is and keep it in shape.

He said that there was even a chance a vocal cord could become paralized if nerves were damaged, although this is a slight chance.

 But, he said my singing voice would definately be damaged because of all the muscles they would have to go around to get to the thyroid. (or something like that)  He said, best case scenario my singing voice would be back to maybe 90% or so, but more likely around 70%.

 I'm sorry if I sound like a baby whining about a non life threatening cancer. (At least as far as I know, I'm going for a full scan soon)

 I did have a couple questions.  What happens if I elect to not get the surgery. Does the cancer always spread?  Is it possible it won't go any further, or at least won't until I'm a few more decades older? What is the life expectancy of untreated thyroid cancer and the quality of life?

 Does anyone know of singers that made full recoveries, singing wise, from removal of the thyroid gland?

I feel you on that you have people saying get over it but come on people if this is your life its a little hard.  I'm  glad your doctor at least told you about it mines she said no problem did the scope down my throat then had me sing in her office however after the removoal she avoided me like the pague  I too have gone to a speach specialist but at this point no more singing in church, choir or weddings.

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