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Tags: Cancer | celine | dion | husband | cancer

Celine Dion's Husband: Will Cancer Treatments Help?

By    |   Thursday, 18 June 2015 12:01 PM

Superstar Céline Dion’s husband, René Angélil, is undergoing treatment in a Boston hospital for a recurrence of throat cancer, but a top cancer expert says that hope of a cure must be realistically balanced against sacrificing a patient’s quality of life, a top cancer expert says.

“There may be treatment options available but recurrent throat cancer can be a terrible disease to have and quality of life issues come up in the later stage very prominently,” Vadim Gushchin, M.D., tells Newsmax Health.

Dion told the Las Vegas Sun this week that her husband is "fighting very hard" for his life at a Boston hospital, three months after she revealed major surgery left him unable to talk and feeding from a tube.

She made the comments after flying to Las Vegas from Boston to perform at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the Las Vegas Sun reported. She had put her career on hold because of her husband’s illness, but made the appearance at the brain health fundraiser to fulfill a promise. She then flew back to Boston immediately afterward.

She also told the paper that she is planning to return Las Vegas and reopen her act at Caesar’s Palace on Aug. 27, but, she added, “When the curtain opens, I don’t know how strong I will be that night.”

This is the 73-year-old Angélil’s second battle against throat cancer. He initially underwent surgery after a lump in his neck was found to be malignant in 1998 and again in 2013, after the cancer recurred. Three months ago, the singer revealed that her husband is no longer able to talk and is on a feeding tube.

Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers in the United States. This year, an estimated 59,340 will develop it and 12,290 people will die from it, the American Cancer Society says.

Head and neck cancer occurs more commonly in men, and risk factors include smoking, alcohol, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus.

Dr. Gushchin,a surgical oncologist and director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, noted that not knowing the details of Angélil’s case makes it difficult to speculate on which further treatments may be available to him.

“The reason it’s difficult to treat recurrent throat cancer is that when the initial surgery and radiation was done it not only removed the tumor but changed the healthy tissue as well, so subsequent treatment options are limited,” he added.

“There may be options with chemotherapy these days that can prolong life and improve its quality as well, but you need to chose the treatment carefully, because you have to keep in mind the patient’s quality of life.”

He also noted that options must be carefully explained to patients and that it is the doctor’s role to help in this.

“The patient needs to know the realistic expectations about what can be achieved and what the cost is, and it is they who have to make the decision on what it is worth to live one more day,” he said.

© 2022 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Superstar Céline Dion's husband, René Angélil, is undergoing treatment in a Boston hospital for a recurrence of throat cancer.
celine, dion, husband, cancer
Thursday, 18 June 2015 12:01 PM
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