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.
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.
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.
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.
Treatment for throat cancer may cost you between ₹100000 to ₹150000.
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.
Rs 1,00,000 - Rs 1,50,000
Cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal multiplication of cells in a particular part of the body. After starting in one body part, cancer cells spread to other body parts and lead to the formation of tumours (metastases) in other parts of the body. Throat cancer refers to the development of tumours in the different parts of the throat. Various parts of the throat include oropharynx (tonsil, soft palate, base of tongue), nasopharynx (part behind the nose), hypopharynx and larynx (voice box). Throat cancers are a common type of cancer in India. The most common causes of throat cancer are -
The risk of throat cancer can be reduced by avoided tobacco and alcohol. HPV infection can be avoided through safe sexual practices. These practices can prevent large majority of throat cancers. Other that prevention, timely testing for early diagnosis and immediate treatment when cancer is diagnosed will lead to successful outcomes.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cancer can occur in any part of the body. In this article, we will discuss head and neck cancer, which occurs when cells in these regions grow abnormally. Cancer cells that grow in the head and neck can spread to other parts of the body as well, and there are reported cases in which head and neck cancer has spread to the lungs.
Symptoms for Suspicion of cancer
Common Types of Head and Neck Cancer-
The common type of head and neck cancer is called carcinoma, and it can start in the nose, mouth and throat. Lymphoma cancers affect the immune system of the neck and head and can spread to other body parts.
Tests that are done for diagnosing head and neck cancer
A patient may feel some pain in the head and neck region. At first, the patient might visit an ENT specialist in order to diagnose the reason for the pain. In case the ENT specialist is not able to relate the issue with common causes of such pain, he refers the patient to a head and neck specialist. Then the first thing that the doctor will check for is the growth of any lymph nodes. Special fiber optics, mirror and lights are used for the examination of the head and neck as some regions are not easily visible.
A panendoscopy is performed on patients to confirm the growth and spread of cancer cells. This test is done under anesthesia and may need to be performed in an operation theater. Thin tubes called scopes are used for viewing the tissues and the doctor may take a sample for a biopsy test.
A biopsy test confirms whether the growth of cells is cancerous or not, and if it has spread. The biopsy will tell us whether the growth is cancerous or not. For staging of cancer, we do scans which may be CT, MRI or PET CT. A scan helps the doctors to understand whether the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body such as the lungs. The barium swallow method is used to check if there are cancer cells in the throat.
How serious can head and neck cancer be?
There are various stages of head and neck cancer, and they are classified based on the seriousness of the growth. Normally, cancer starts at stage 1 and could progress till stage 4 if left untreated and undiagnosed. Different stages require different types of treatment and medications. Stage 1 and 2 usually involve radiotherapy or surgery whereas stage 3 and 4 would require radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy. Also, avoid tobacco and alcohol for prevention.
One should always consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, and must follow the advice of the doctor for a speedy recovery. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Throat cancer is a broad term used to cover cancer across a number of organs in the oronasal passage – right from the nasopharynx, oropharynx, glottis, epiglottis to supraglottis. Minus the medical terms, it means anywhere from the back of the nose and throat to the where the neck ends. The mucous cells along this path can undergo changes and begin multiplying rapidly, leading to cancer. The following are some additional risk factors:
Cigarette smoking is the most important of all, and a person can significantly reduce the risk by cutting down smoking. The throat has different types of linings and gland tissue, and depending on the cell type affected, the type of cancer could vary.
Symptoms: Throat cancer diagnosis can get delayed as the symptoms are very similar to a throat infection.
Depending on the area affected, the symptoms can point to the location. For instance, voice changes are often associated with laryngeal cancer. A combination of risk factor assessment and symptoms will help in pinning down the diagnosis. Reach out to the doctor as soon as you notice something is wrong, as early diagnosis is very good for timely intervention and improving prognosis. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Neck cancer refers to the formation of cancer cells in the throat or neck region of your body. Neck cancer is commonly seen in people above sixty years of age .But people above forty can also have the chances of getting neck cancer. Though the symptoms of neck cancer can vary from one person to the other,
Some of the common symptoms are stated as follows:
Neck cancer involves certain risk factors too. Neck cancer can be treated in many ways. The following are few treatments available for neck cancer:
These three are the common treatments followed by doctors. Your doctor may also take help of other treatments like administering drugs to control the growth of cancer cells. But, sometimes treatments fail to work if the process of metastasis starts. So you should not ignore it, as soon as you encounter any of the symptoms stated above, visiting an oncologist is highly recommended.
It occurs when abnormally dividing cancerous cells form growth like tumors in the voice box, vocal cords & other parts of the throat like the tonsils, and the pharynx which is the hollow tube that runs from behind the nose to the top of the windpipe.
The common symptoms of throat cancer include coughing, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, and swollen lymph nodes. There are two primary types of throat cancers according to where they start in the throat- pharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer. Pharyngeal cancer forms in the pharynx while laryngeal cancer forms in the larynx or the voice box.
Causes of Throat Cancer
Recognizing potential signs of throat cancer in the early stages of the disease is not easy. Hence, it’s critical to know the causes and risk factors for developing this type of cancer in order to be able to diagnose it at a relatively early stage of the disease and prevent a fatality. Common risk factors and causes of throat cancer include:
The common ‘lifestyle’ causes for throat cancer are smoking or chewing tobacco, as per WHO there is no minimum safe limit of alcohol, vitamin A deficiency due to a diet deficient in green vegetables, and infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer in women and occurs due to unsafe sex.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and poor dental hygiene are also some of the known causes.
The association of throat cancer with HPV infection, a sexually transmitted virus is very interesting. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America has stated that HPV infection is a risk factor for certain oropharyngeal throat cancers.
Cancer Research UK also warns that oral sex, especially with multiple partners, leads to oral cancers due to HPV infection. It further states that men are also more prone to get infected with HPV through oral sex than women and HPV infection is more common in men who have oral sex with multiple partners.
Apart from this, throat cancer has also been linked to other types of cancers like esophageal, lung or bladder. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with any of these, you are at greater risk of contracting throat cancer. These cancers also often have the same risk factors.
You can take a few steps to reduce your risk for throat cancer like stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake, maintain a healthy lifestyle – eat plenty of greens, reduce fat and salt intake, and lose excess weight by exercising regularly. You can also reduce your risk of HPV infection by limiting your sex partners and using condoms. Stop alcohol rather than reduce.