Throat cancer is a condition wherein cancerous tumours may develop in your throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils. Suffering from constant cough, pain in throat or ear, difficulty in swallowing or lump/ sore that is not healing, can be symptoms of throat cancer. You must visit a doctor if you find any of these conditions to be persistent. Throat cancer can be cured by radiation therapy if detected at an early stage. The tumour can be removed through surgery. In some conditions, all/ part of voice box or part of throat may also have to be removed by surgery. Chemotherapy is done to kill cancer cells by using certain drugs.
Signs and symptoms of Throat Cancer may include:
Throat Cancer is a rare form of cancer that develops in the throat, larynx, or tonsils. Some of its most common symptoms include a persistent sore throat and/or cough, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, ear pain, and a neck mass. It can develop quickly, which is why early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.
High energy beams are used to kill cancer cells in radiation therapy. Sources such as x rays and protons are used to deliver these high energy beams that are quite effective if your throat cancer has been detected at the first stage itself. Surgery is used in a little more critical condition. If confined to surface of the throat, cancer can be treated by the use of endoscopy. A hollow endoscope will be inserted in your throat or mouth through which surgical tools or laser will be passed. The tools can cut off and the laser can vaporise very superficial cancers. In some situations, a part of your voice box where the cancer exists may have to be removed. Some parts of throat may also need to be removed, depending on the severity. A dissection will be made near your neck and then, the cancerous lymph nodes will be removed surgically.
Early-stage cancers of the throat are small, localized, and highly curable when treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy. The early-stage disease includes stage I, II, and some stage III cancers.
If you experience constant pain in throat or difficulty in swallowing you should get it examined by a doctor as it could be the sign for throat cancer. Also, if there is a lump or sore in your throat which has not healed in a long time, it is a matter to be looked into.
Constant pain in throat may just be tonsil pain. Get a thorough check up done.
The high energy beams used in radiation therapy may cause irritation in skin for some time. Sense of smell and taste may change. One may also go through temporary or permanent hoarseness in voice, dry mouth and difficulty in swallowing.
The signs and symptoms of Throat Cancer may be difficult to identify in the early stages of the disease. The most common early warning sign of Throat Cancer is a persistent sore throat. If you have a sore throat that lasts for more than two weeks, then it is advised to see a doctor immediately.
Throat Cancer can cause pain or a burning sensation when chewing and swallowing food. You might feel like food is sticking in your throat.
A lump in your neck: You may have a lump in your neck caused by an enlarged lymph node. Swelling in one or more lymph nodes in the neck is a common symptom of Throat Cancer, as well as other head and neck cancers.
Lumps that come and go are not usually due to cancer. Cancer usually forms a lump that slowly gets bigger.
You must look after your diet by including as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Quit smoking and avoid drinking alcohol. Make regular appointments with your doctor to keep your progress in check.
You may be able to walk and do your regular activities in about a week but you must rest well for 3-4 weeks before resuming more vigorous activities.
The survival of patients with stage T4a larynx cancer who are untreated is typically less than one year. The symptoms associated with the untreated disease include severe pain and the inability to eat, drink, and swallow. Death can frequently occur due to asphyxiation of the airway from the untreated tumor.
Treatment for throat cancer may cost you between ₹100000 to ₹150000.
Some cancer risk factors, such as genetics and environment, are out of your control, but research suggests that about 70% of your lifetime risk of cancer is within your power to change, including your diet.
No treatment for cancer is permanent. You must take care of your body very well once you have been treated for it. Ensure that you are consuming a healthy diet and have stopped smoking and drinking alcohol.
There are no alternative treatments for throat cancer but you may find treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy and meditation to be of help as they may speed up the healing process.