Voice Improvement After Thyroid Cancer
- A European singer posted a video taken five months after her thyroidectomy to show how her voice has recovered and possibly even gotten better.
- She is now filming a series of videos to inspire hope in people with thyroid cancer.
- Signs of thyroid cancer can include a lump in the neck, a swollen neck and neck pain radiating to the ears.
“As a professional singer I was so scared to lose my voice before the surgery so I decided to make this video to give hope to newly diagnosed and to show that it is also possible to recover perfectly,” explains Morgane, who is a working singer in Europe.Read More
Morgane was diagnosed with stage III thyroid cancer in March, and says that the most important thing she did was immediately research doctors and find the right surgeon for her thryoidectomy.
In her case that was Dr. Frédéric Triponez at the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève in Switzerland.
“So we had to remove my full thyroid, and they also had to remove the central compartment of lymph nodes [points to middle of throat],” explains Morgane.
“I was really lucky to not have any cancerous cells stuck on my vocal cords. When they check all my cords, all mine were working properly. After the surgery, everything was working really well.”
She credits this all to the amazing work of Dr. Triponez and his experience performing these surgeries.
Even more exciting was the moment she realized during her recovery from the thyroidectomy that her voice was even better now than it was prior to surgery.
“I think that I have so many swollen lymph nodes [because of the tumor], that my voice was getting tighter; like when I was singing my throat was getting tighter and tighter, and I was not always able to have the free sound [before the thyroidectomy],” she explains.
“Now, without those lymph nodes I sound so free. I am much more precise when I record, like sometimes stuff that I needed two, three, four takes I record on the first take now. I feel that my voice has so much stability, and I never expected that to happen, and I want you to know that you might be surprised and be like me and be like wow, my voice is actually better.”
There are a few things that do still need work, and Morgane says her stamina is still not at the level it was prior to surgery.
She is also adamant that people find someone to oversee their recovery after the thyroidectomy, be it a voice coach or a therapist, so they do not destroy their vocal cords.
In her case it was a teacher she knew from the Royal Academy of Music, who helped her when she started to get nervous about her scar.
“After the surgery, because of course you know your scar feels a bit weird. It feels like it’s choking you a little bit sometimes, and it can be scary so you’re scared to get into your higher range,” she notes.
“But having someone who knows your voice really well it’s really reassuring because she was like: ‘No, don’t worry. I feel you’re able to go there. Relax.'”
That teacher was also instrumental in making sure Morgane was positioned right and using her mouth properly, and she credits that teacher with the success of her recovery.
Morgane also massages her scar daily with cream to try and make it slowly fade, not that she is trying to hide her cancer battle.
In fact, she has more videos planned in hopes that they will inspire the hope she did not have when researching her diagnosis at the start of her journey.
“I hope this video has helped you feel a little bit less scared to go through your surgery, and if you have any question that I feel like I can answer I would be more than happy to do it,” she says as she closes out the video.
She says that there is no reason to be scared if the recovery is longer or shorter than her own and again stresses finding the perfect surgeon and a therapist for the recovery.
“I just make this video to give hope because I found so many things that really, really scared me before the surgery and I really thought that my singing career was over, and I’m here to show you that it doesn’t have to be the case,” she says.
“But please do not get scared. That doesn’t mean it won’t come back, sending you all my love all my best wishes and wishing you good luck.”
Know the Signs of Thyroid Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid cancer can show up via any of these symptoms:
- A lump in the neck, which might grow quickly
- Swollen neck
- Neck pain in the front, sometimes going to the ears
- A hoarse voice, or other changes in the voice that do not resolve
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- A continuing cough in the absence of a cold
If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor without delay. They could indicate cancer or a different condition. The good news is that lumps in the thyroid are both common and commonly benign, according to the American Cancer Society. But if you have a concern, getting screened is the way to know for sure — and to swiftly proceed with treatment if needed.