Articles, Blog

Throat Cancer Survivor Sings Again (Laura Dooley, MD)

October 19, 2019


Steve Stockman spends his days with
circuit breakers, but at night, this electrician turns up the voltage on
stage. “It’s fun sometimes to just pick a song that you’ve never sang before and get
up in front of people and give it a try.” But it wasn’t long ago that Steve
thought his days singing karaoke were over. “I was shaving, and I noticed a
lump here on the side of my throat.” At University of Missouri Health Care’s
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, Dr. Laura Dooley made the difficult diagnosis. “He had oropharyngeal tonsil squamous cell carcinoma.” It’s a type of throat cancer
that was hiding in Steve’s tonsil, typically caused by smoking, drinking or
HPV, the human papilloma virus. The plan was surgery, followed by radiation,
putting his karaoke on hold. “It changes the characteristics of your voice if you
change that resonance frequency a little bit.”
Steve, though, didn’t need to worry. Within six months, the microphone was back in
his hand. “Hour to hour, day to day, one foot in front of the other, and you’ll get through it.”
His performance — inspiring others. From the University of Missouri, I’m Teresa
Snow.

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