Rakesh Roshan Has Throat Squamous Cell Cancer – What Is It?

Rakesh Roshan diagnosed with early stage squamous cell carcinoma of the throat, a particular type of throat cancer

2 min read

Renowned filmmaker Rakesh Roshan has been diagnosed with early stage squamous cell carcinoma of the throat, a particular type of throat cancer, son Hrithik Roshan announced through an Instagram post.

Commending his father’s spirit to work out even on a surgery day, he called him ‘the strongest man’ he knows. His post reveals that the yesteryear actor is undergoing surgery today and is in “full spirits as he proceeds to battle it”.


What Is Throat Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the most common type of throat cancer, affects the flat cells lining the throat by leading to an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

Speaking to FIT, Dr Saurabh Gupta, Consultant – Head and Neck Oncology, Max Hosptial, says:

It’s the most common type of cancer in the head and neck region. Head and neck cancers account for nearly two-thirds of all cancers in India. It can be caused due to some form of tobacco intake but in most cases you’ll not be able to find the exact cause. Even now, a lot of women who have never smoked are being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. 

While detection can be challenging, there are certain symptoms to look out for such as change in voice, trouble swallowing, weight loss, persistent cough, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, or ear pain.

Smoking, alcohol intake, old-age and poor oral hygiene are some responsible factors.


Dr Gupta explains that classically the treatment for early throat cancers was chemotherapy. But now, with advent of technology we have laser and robotic surgeries. So if early cancer is operable, this is how they are operated on.

“Early cancer means T1-T2 region and they’re less than 2 or up to 4cm. In such cases, we remove the tumour by laser or robotic surgery. Open surgery is obsolete now, unless it’s an advanced cancer where we have to remove the entire voice box,” says Dr Saurabh Gupta.

If it is an early cancer where the neck nodes are not involved and it’s only restricted to the throat and a complete surgical excision has been done, then the cure rate is around 85 percent.

In some cases, after surgery, one may require radiotherapy afterwards, but that depends on the final report. Relapse also depends on final report.

As the ‘Koi...Mil Gaya’ director undergoes surgery, FIT wishes him a speedy recovery!

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