Throat cancer

Other names: Orophayrngeal cancer

DEFINITION

Throat cancer refers to Cancerous Tumors that develop in your throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils. Your throat is a muscular tube that begins behind your nose and ends in your neck. Your voice box sits just below your throat and is also susceptible to Throat cancer. The voice box is made of cartilage and contains the vocal cords that vibrate to make sound when you talk. Throat cancer can also affect the piece of cartilage (epiglottis) that acts as a lid for your windpipe. Tonsil cancer, another form of Throat cancer, affects the tonsils, which are located on the back of the throat.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of Throat cancer may include:

When to see a doctor: Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any new signs and symptoms that are persistent.

CAUSES

Throat cancer occurs when cells in your throat develop genetic mutations. These mutations cause cells to grow uncontrollably and continue living after healthy cells would normally die. The accumulating cells can form a Tumor in your throat.

Types of Throat cancer:

Risk factors: Factors that can increase your risk of Throat cancer include tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, human papillomavirus (HPV), and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables.

Preparing for your appointment: Be well prepared by writing down any symptoms you're experiencing, key personal information, a list of all medications you're taking, questions to ask your doctor, and consider taking a family member or friend along.


QUESTIONS

  1. What are the risk factors for developing throat cancer?

Tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, HPV infection, and a diet lacking fruits and vegetables.

  1. What are some common symptoms of throat cancer?

Hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, persistent sore throat, and unexplained weight loss.

  1. How is throat cancer diagnosed?

Through procedures like endoscopy, biopsy, and imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or PET scan.

  1. What are the treatment options for throat cancer?

Treatment options may include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and rehabilitation after treatment.

  1. How can one reduce the risk of developing throat cancer?

By avoiding tobacco use, limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and protecting oneself from HPV.

  1. What lifestyle changes can help prevent throat cancer?

Quitting smoking or not starting at all, drinking alcohol in moderation or abstaining from it entirely, eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, and protecting oneself from HPV.

  1. Are there alternative treatments for throat cancer?

While no alternative treatments have proved helpful in treating throat cancer directly, complementary therapies like acupuncture or massage therapy may help cope with side effects.

  1. What should one do if they suspect they have symptoms of throat cancer?

It's important to see a doctor if you experience persistent symptoms such as hoarseness or difficulty swallowing for further evaluation.

  1. How is the stage of throat cancer determined?

The stage of throat cancer is determined through various tests like imaging studies to assess the extent of the disease beyond the surface of the throat or voice box.

  1. Why is early detection important in treating throat cancer?

Early detection allows for more effective treatment options and better chances of successful outcomes in managing throat cancer.

By providing accurate information on the definition, symptoms, causes, types, risk factors, diagnosis methods, treatment options, lifestyle recommendations related to throat cancer along with coping strategies and support resources available for individuals dealing with this condition; this article aims to educate readers about this critical health issue comprehensively.