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October 1938


Arch Otolaryngol. 1938;28(4):581-584. doi:10.1001/archotol.1938.00650040592007

From the earliest writings to the most recent literature concerning cancer of the larynx, the operation of total laryngectomy is ofttimes described as a mutilating procedure leaving its victim in a pitiable condition—a condition that is worse than death. The psychic reaction to the loss of the power of speech, it is said, frequently leads to suicide or to insanity.

The medical profession and the public are familiar with the blind, with the deaf and with the cripple. Neither the public nor the vast majority of physicians are familiar with the patient who has lost his larynx and consequently normal speech. It is a human failing to dread the unknown. There is need of educating the medical profession as well as the laity to an understanding that the laryngectomized patient is not a pitiable object, a woebegone creature who has given up all that life holds dear. It is hard