ZocdocAnswersWeight loss and hoarseness in voice - could this be due to my cancer history?

Question

Weight loss and hoarseness in voice - could this be due to my cancer history?

had hodgkins lymphoma in 2002. no symptoms and normal blood count the whole time. last ct scan was in 2009, until today. old ct scans has shown active nodes but not large enough to be concerned and more. but oncologist was never concerned. oncologist stopped seeing me yrs ago. so i started becoming sickly, lost about 40lbs sincw this may. i was diagnosed via biopsy with esonophilic esophogitis. doc said may not have been why i lost weight. i know have voice hoarseness bad off and on for two months with no cold in sight. doc not sure why. are these related? and could it be my cancer?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you had hodgkins lymphoma in 2002 and that you are concerned that your current hoarseness and weight loss may be related to a recurrence. I am happy to give you some thoughts on what might be going on, but I am ultimately going to recommend that you make an appointment with an otolaryngologist (or ENT aka Ear Nose Throat physician) to get evaluated. They will be able to take a more complete history, and examine you, including visualizing your larynx (voice box) to see if there are any visible abnormalities. In any patient with a cancer history significant weight loss is a red flag for a potential recurrence, and this must be ruled out first and foremost. It is worth having an open discussion with your oncologist about your concerns. It is possible however that if you have recently been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis that this would be related to your weight loss (due to decreased oral intake). The swelling and inflammation associated with the esophagitis could also be contributing to your hoarseness, as the back of the larynx is the top of the esophagus (pyriform sinuses specifically). It is also possible that the hoarseness could be related to something like reflux. The ENT will be able to scope you in the office and visualize the vocal folds, and give you a more accurate opinion as to what might be going on after looking at you. I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best.

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