Dustin Hoffman health: Star’s past journey from throat cancer to ‘good health’ explained

Dustin Hoffman 'snaps' at Charlie Stayt during interview

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Hoffman received international praise for his performance as Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man. Despite his comfort being in the spotlight, the star was relatively quiet about his health battle with the deadly disease.

The actor’s press officer Jodi Gottlieb informed the public back in 2013 that the star had undergone treatment for throat cancer.

The treatment, Gottlieb explained, was a success and left him “surgically cured”.

This came a few years after Hoffman’s co-star Michael Douglas had a battle with tongue cancer.

Offering only a few details about Hoffman’s cancer battle, Gottlieb said: “It was detected early and he has been surgically cured.”

Throat cancer is a general term that isn’t used by UK health professionals, according to the charity Cancer Research UK.

But the Mayo Clinic explains it refers to cancer developing in the pharynx or the voice box.

Cancer of the pharynx is known as pharyngeal cancer while voice box cancer is called laryngeal cancer. Treatment for these conditions will depend on how developed the cancer is.

People with stage one or two laryngeal cancer, for example, may require a partial laryngectomy to remove part of the voice box – explains Cancer Research UK.

Treatment for later-stage throat cancer may require even more invasive treatment, such as a total laryngectomy.

However, if the tumour is localised to a small area, the abnormal area may be removed during a biopsy or using laser treatment.

According to Gottlieb, Hoffman was “feeling great and in good health” following his own treatment for the disease.

Shortly after the cancer battle, Hoffman completed a comedy movie called Chef alongside big-timers Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr.

The representative also revealed that the Hollywood big-timer was due to have preventative treatment, as recommended by the doctor, to lower the risk of recurrent cancer in the future.

There are several risk factors that increase the chances of a cancer recurrence, which are likely to be targeted during treatment.

A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables is known to increase the risk of throat cancers. As a result, doctors may recommend a diet change or encourage exercise.

Some other factors that increase the risk of throat cancer include tobacco use, viral infections, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Symptoms of throat cancers

The main symptoms to look out for that could indicate either laryngeal cancer or pharyngeal cancer include the following a cough and changes in your voice.

People with these cancers may also have difficulty swallowing, ear pain, weight loss, and a sore throat, according to Mayo Clinic.

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