A class of disease in which abnormal cells get multiplied and divides uncontrollably in the entire body is referred to as cancer.
These abnormal cells forms the growth of malignant cells called as tumours. Throat cancer refers to the cancer that causes damage to the vocal cords and other parts of the throat as well, such as the tonsils. The hollow tube which runs behind the nose to the top of the windpipe is pharyngeal cancer. And the cancer, which is formed in the vocal cords is termed as laryngeal cancer. According to the study, there are more cases of pharyngeal cancer rather than laryngeal cancer.
Symptoms of Throat cancer
You should consult your dentist or health care professional if you notice any of the symptoms as follows:-
- Red or white patches developed in the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pain in the facial area, mouth or in neck
- Pain in ear
- Unexpected weight loss
- It gets difficult to chew or swallow the food
- Change in voice
Risk factors for the development of oral cancer include:
Smoking: pipe smokers, cigar or cigarette develops cancer six times more than nonsmokers.
Smokeless tobacco users:chewing of tobacco is 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips
Excessive consumption of alcohol: more common in drinkers Hereditary problem
Excessive exposure to sun at young age.
It’s important to note that about 25% of all oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally.
Diagnosing throat cancer
Throat cancer should be diagnosed as early as possible, which will help to increase your chances of successful treatment and gives the maximum ability to swallow as well as speak.
Doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history at your appointment. If the person is experiencing constant cough, sore throat, which has no improvement, then the patient may suffer from throat cancer. Doctor will undergo laryngoscope which gives the closer view of your throat. If this test reveals abnormalities, your doctor may take a tissue sample from your throat (biopsy) and test the sample for cancer.
How does a person get a second opinion after a throat cancer diagnosis?
Before starting treatment, you may want a second opinion about your diagnosis, stage of cancer, and treatment plan. Some people worry that the doctor will be offended if they ask for a second opinion. Usually the opposite is true.
If you get a second opinion, the second doctor may agree with your first doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Or, the second doctor may suggest another approach. Either way, you’ll have more information and perhaps a greater sense of control.
You can feel more confident about the decisions you make, knowing that you’ve looked at all of your options. It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. The delay in starting treatment usually will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor.
As throat cancer affects breathing, talking, hearing, full rehabilitation should be done. The treatment allotted to the patient by the doctor will depend upon the level of your disease, along with the other facts. For throat cancer, there are different treatment options such as:-
If the size of the tumour in your throat is small then the doctor may remove the tumour surgically. In the hospital when you are under sedation.
- Radiation therapy:
After the removal of tumour, the doctor may recommend radiation therapy, which uses high energy rays for destroying the malignant cancer cells and will destroy all the left out cancerous cells behind the tumour.
Chemotherapy is a kind of drug that kills and slows the growth of malignant cells. In case of large tumours and tumours that have spread to the lymph nodes and other organs or tissue, your doctor may recommend radiation, as well as chemotherapy.
How to prevent Throat cancer?
• Intake of tobacco products should be minimized, as well as smoking and drinking alcohol.
• Well balanced diet should be included on a daily basis.
• Exposure to sunlight should be minimized. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, especially the lower lip. Sunscreen lotions should be used on your skin as well as on the lips.
You can reduce the stress routine by joining a cancer support group, and sharing your feelings with people diagnosed with same disorder which will help you not feel alone. Smoking and drinking should be avoided; intake of tobacco should be reduced.