In this health video learn how doctors are trading their knives in for a laser to remove tumors on the throat and vocal cords.
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Jennifer Matthews: David Huels and his wife have a big family to keep track of. But for the past seven years, David has had a tough time communicating with them. David Huels: I could not have the volume, and I could not have the projection in my voice that I should have. Jennifer Matthews: David had a tumor on his vocal cord. C. Michael Haben: These are the same precancerous warts that happen on the cervix in women, frequently from the same virus, called Human Papillomavirus. Jennifer Matthews: Dr. Michael Haben says surgery can remove the tumor, but an unrelated spinal problem prevented David from getting surgery. He simply had to live with the hoarseness. C. Michael Haben: Probably more significantly though, he's had a tumor on his vocal cord that he goes to bed every night, thinking about, wondering, is this going to turn cancerous? Jennifer Matthews: Now there's a better solution. A laser destroys tumors in less than 30 minutes. C. Michael Haben: It targets the blood supply. If you can eliminate the blood supply to any tumor in the body, you will cure the tumor. Jennifer Matthews: In this demo, watch how the laser is only absorbed by the color red, it cuts off the blood feeding the tumor, leaving surrounding tissue unharmed. David had the two weeks after the surgery, so his voice is still recovering, but he's already noticed a change. David Huels: I can speak without forcing myself to speak. Jennifer Matthews: Now, he's looking forward to getting his normal voice back. David Huels: I hope I can sing and praise the Lord. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.