Important Information of Cancer of the Throat
In general, cancer of the throat is commonly used to refer cancer in the pharynx and larynx. Pharynx is the swallowing tube between nose and esophagus while larynx is the voice box where the voice is produced. Throat cancer is also a general term for any cancer occurs in throat and surrounding area. Two main types of throat cancer are squamous cell carcinoma that developed in squamous cells, which lining the throat and cancer that occur in minor salivary glands. The last one is less frequent type.
Cancer of the Throat – Risks, Symptoms, and Treatments
The most common risk factors of throat cancer are smoking and drinking. Infection of human papilloma virus (HPV) is the new growing risk factor, especially for oropharynx cancer. Sexual contact, particularly oral sex is the reason of the virus to spread to the throat area. The other risk factor of cancer of the throat is exposure to certain chemicals, including sulfuric acid fumes, asbestos, and nickel. Gender, race, and age may also play important role, as men, African American, and senior over 65 years old are more likely to develop throat cancer. To prevent throat cancer, it is important to reduce the risks as much as you can.
Symptoms of throat cancers are including hoarseness, voice change, sore throat, difficult to swallow, cough, breathing problems, and a feeling that something is caught in the throat. The other symptoms may occur in different area such as pain in the ear and lump in the neck. Similar with other cancer types, sudden unexplained weight loss is also the symptom of cancer of the throat. If you experience the symptom, it is important to consult with doctor. Early detection will help the healing.
In order to treat cancer right, accurate diagnose is necessary. Diagnostic tests for throat cancer are including biopsy, imaging tests (CT, CAT, PET, MRI, X-rays), laryngeal videostroboscopy, and fiber optic endoscopic examination of swallowing. After diagnosis, several methods could be chosen to treat cancer of the throat. The treatments are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and targeted therapies. The choice of treatment should be made based on patient individual condition and safety rate of the treatment.