Stanley Tucci health: Actor’s life-threatening condition – ‘Much worse than I thought’

Fitness & Health:

Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, Stanley Tucci spoke about his new autobiography Taste: My Life Through Food, where the 60-year-old details the highs and lows of his journey, including his diagnosis of oral cancer and survival. The father-of-five revealed that his lost his sense of taste while going though chemotherapy. The high-dose radiation destroyed his “taste buds, saliva, everything” – and Stanley had to be on a feeding tube for six months.

Oral cancer

The NHS explained that a tumour can develop in various places inside of the mouth.

Otherwise known as mouth cancer, a tumour can develop:

  • On the surface of the tongue
  • The inside of the cheeks
  • The roof of the mouth
  • The lips
  • On the gums.

“Tumours can also develop in the glands that produce saliva, the tonsils at the back of the mouth, and the part of the throat connecting your mouth to your windpipe (pharynx),” the NHS added.


Three of the most common signs of mouth cancer include:

  1. Mouth ulcers that do not heal within several weeks
  2. Unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth that do not go away
  3. Unexplained, persistent lumps in the lymph glands in the neck that do not go away.

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Other symptoms of oral cancer may include:

  • Pain or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Changes in your voice or problems with speech
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • One or more teeth that becomes loose for no obvious reason, or a tooth socket that does not heal after a tooth is removed (extraction)
  • Difficulty moving your jaw
  • Red or white patches on the lining of your mouth.

Any symptoms that persist for three weeks or longer are best checked out by a medical professional.

The best places to go include your doctor’s surgery or your regular dentist.

In the very early stages of oral cancer, there may not be any noticeable symptoms.

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Treatment can involve surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy – depending on the size of the tumour, how far it has spread and your general health.

Bear in mind that if you continue to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco, your chances of successful treatment will decline.

There can be side effects to treatment too, such as radiotherapy, which can lead to:

  • Sore, red skin (like sunburn)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Sore mouth and throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of taste or changes in taste
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Feeling sick
  • Stiff jaw
  • Bad breath
  • Exposed bone.
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Once radiotherapy is complete, the side effects should improve.

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