Shane began smoking at age 18 and was only 34 when the damage to his body from smoking became evident. He noticed he was having difficulty swallowing; throat cancer turned out to be the cause. During the surgeries that followed, doctors removed his larynx, part of his esophagus, and collarbone and then reshaped and stretched his stomach to serve as an esophagus. He now speaks with the aid of an electrolarynx and has a 1-inch stoma (opening) in his neck so he can breathe.
Shane has been smoke-free since 2003. Even so, smoking will continue to affect him for the rest of his life. Now, at age 44, he faces a new challenge. His doctors recently found cancer in his chest.
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- Page last reviewed: March 13, 2015
- Page last updated: March 13, 2015
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