Signs of Throat Cancer – Cancer is one of the world’s deadliest disease and one that able to kill its victim silently. One uncommon but still dangerous kind of cancer is throat cancer. This cancer is a part of group of Head and Neck Cancer.
The cancer itself
There are two major group of throat cancer based on their location of occurrence which are pharynx and larynx. The top part of the throat is pharynx while larynx are located right below it. In between them lies your voice box. An important organ made up of soft tissues and cartilage. This organ is the one responsible for your voice.
Wherever the cancer occurred, it’s always started with unusual cell division. One or a group of cells started to multiply in uncontrollable manner, creating lump of mass which then enlarge itself. The mass consumed lot of nutrition and just keep growing, at some point the mass’s cancer cells will start breaking up, spreading its cell throughout the body. This phase is known as metastasis and a sign of cancer in advanced stage. Once spread the cancer would be much harder and even become incurable.
Scientist have determined several stages of development of the cancer, based on how far they spread and mass (tumor) size.
Symptoms and Signs of Throat Cancer
Unfortunately signs of throat cancer often begin with symptoms that seemingly benign or resembling other kind of disease like common cold or simple oral ulcer. Thus not properly treated. It is often to see people suddenly fell on his activities only to be diagnosed with cancer at advanced or terminal stage, at that point therapy would be long and difficult. Fortunately, Throat cancer is one of the easily curable cancer if it caught at early stage. Successful rate of cure can be in excess of 50%. Thus self-awareness are of an utmost importance in recognizing the cancer’s symptoms.
The following are some of the signs of throat cancer:
- Swallowing difficulties: Typical cancer will form a mass or tumor because of its division pattern. However not all mass in throat are signs of throat cancer It could be a benign inflammation which your body able to re-absorb.
- Change in voice : Mass can also form around your voice box, thus changed your voice
- Bleeding from the mouth.
- Body mass loss: as the cancer consumed nutrition’s for its unusual growth.
- Sore throat
- Coughing sometimes with blood
- Ear pain
- Swollen neck lymph node.
When one or more of above mentioned symptoms occur, it’s advised that you should visit local doctor for examination. In case of mass formation, the doctor may recommend a hospital visit for biopsy and more thorough examination to determine the nature of the mass. Usually however the doctor would prescribe recipes for common disease and asked the patient to wait for one of two weeks. Should the symptoms continued, it’s then you will be directed to the hospital. One diagnosis tool available to doctor would be laryngoscopy and performed under local anesthesia. In this method doctor would insert a special long tubes and take a peek of your throat’s condition with it. Should any abnormal tissue found, doctor can directly conduct biopsy.
Causes and Risk of Throat Cancer
Throat cancer’s causes has been long time associated with unhealthy lifestyle, exposure to dangerous chemical agents and infection of virus like Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) or Eppstein-Bar Virus. Some lifestyle that can contribute to increase of risk factor are as follows:
- Smoking or tobacco consumption
- poor dental hygiene
- Long term exposure to asbestos
- Vitamin A deficiency
Those agents caused damage in linings of the throat, thus affecting normal cell’s DNA which later turning it into a cancer cells. The risk factor are somewhat higher for men than women in contracting the cancer. Another possible cause, though not directly is hereditary. It’s more likely for someone to contract cancer if there’s one or more of his/her family with record of cancer.
Therapy and prevention of Throat Cancer
Prevent is better than cure, as old wiseman said. This also applies to cancer. It’s highly recommended to prevent cancer by change of lifestyle, and to control what you eat, drink and perform medical checkup regularly. Another tip is to not neglect symptoms that does not recede with freely available medications. Those applies not only to throat cancer but generally to any other head and neck cancer. Several types of therapies however are available, like chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.
Surgery treatment for throat cancer are based on the location of the cancer. Pharynx cancer (or also called as nasopharynx) may be treated with surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding tissues affected by the cancer. However it’s not very common and only possible for some cases. Larynx cancer is the one which commonly treated with surgery.The scale of surgery depends on the severity of the cancer. Ranged from cordectomy where doctor can remove the cancer by endoscopic equipment until total removal of larynx with other affected tissues.
Side effect of surgery includes pain, risk of infection, formation of fistula and partial to total loss of the patient’s ability to talk. However recovery treatment are available and allow improvement and restoration of patient’s life quality after surgery.
This therapy is common for cancer and some other diseases like autoimmune. The therapy use one or combination of medicine that capable of preventing cellular reproduction. Thereby reducing or even eliminating cancer cell’s ability to spread to other part of body. The choice of medicine depends on the responsiveness of the cancer cells, as some cancer may only sensitive to certain medicine. Chemotherapy drugs is commonly administered intravenous/ through blood vessel or injection. Some others however can be administered orally.
Common side effects of the chemotherapy are loss of hairs, reduced immunity, infection of intestine. All of those side effects are caused by the chemoteraphy drugs which also affect normal but having rapid division characteristics e.g intestine cells and bone marrow which need to replicate rapidly to replace broken/old cells. The patient may need to stay in hospital on this treatment.
Radiotherapy is a therapy using radioactive substances or device capable of emitting powerful photons or other form of ionizing radiation that capable of killing the cancer cells. Most of the head and neck cancer patient in Europe and United states are treated with radiotherapy. The therapy itself is painless.
However there are several side effects ranged from acute like sudden uncomfortable feeling, vomiting and long term impact that include cancer as the ionizing radiation may also damage the normal cell’s DNA Thus causing mutation. The probability however are very small and with today’s medical advances, it’s possible to control the intensity of the beam and precise control of it so it will only affect the cancer.
Radiotherapy can be combined with others like chemotherapy or after surgery to clean up the possible remaining cancer cells after removal of the mass.
That’s all about Causes, Risks and Signs of Throat Cancer that you Should Be Aware from us, may be useful. See also: 23 Home Remedies for Toothache