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Throat Cancer: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

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.

How is the treatment done?

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.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

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.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Constant pain in throat may just be tonsil pain. Get a thorough check up done.

Are there any side effects?

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.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

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.

How long does it take to recover?

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.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Treatment for throat cancer may cost you between ₹100000 to ₹150000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

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.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

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.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: High Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs 1,00,000 - Rs 1,50,000

Popular Health Tips

The 4 Major Causes Of Throat Cancer One Must Be Aware Of!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FICS (Surgical Oncology), Fellowship of Association of Indian Surgeons(FAIS), Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery(FMAS) & Reproductive Medicine, Fellowship of Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endo Surgeons (FIAGES)
Oncologist, Ghaziabad
The 4 Major Causes Of Throat Cancer One Must Be Aware Of!

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 - 

  1. Tobacco is the most important cause of throat cancer. Smoking in any form increases the risk of pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer greatly. Chewing tobacco can also increase the risk of pharyngeal cancers. No amount of tobacco exposure is safe. 
  2. Alcohol: Alcohol is an important contributor to risk of pharyngeal cancer. Alcohol intake multiplies the risk of cancer that is due to tobacco exposure. 
  3. Human Papilloma Virus: Human papilloma virus or HPV is famous as the cause of cancer of uterine cervix. However, in recent years it has been found to be an important cause of throat cancer. HPV infection is transmitted through sexual contact. 
  4. Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection: EBV infection is responsible cancer of the nasopharynx or part of pharynx behind the nasal cavity. 

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!

3051 people found this helpful

Head and Neck Cancer - What To Know About It?

MD - Radiation Oncology, MBBS, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Oncologist, Delhi
Head and Neck Cancer - What To Know About It?

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 

  1. Non-healing sore or ulcer
  2. Neck lymph nodes, 
  3. Hoarseness of voice or difficulty in swallowing
  4. Red or white patch in the mouth.
  5. Lump, bump, or mass in the head or neck area, with or without pain.
  6. Persistent sore throat.
  7. Foul mouth odor not explained by hygiene. 

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!

2990 people found this helpful

Throat cancer - Symptoms to watch for!

FACS, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Gurgaon
Throat cancer - Symptoms to watch for!

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.

  1. Sore throat: A sore throat that lasts for weeks together is often a cause for concern and requires ruling out underlying serious problem. Having associated risk factors is a good way to see if ruling out cancer is needed.
  2. Cough: A cough that does not go away is a cause for concern. This is often associated with other symptoms mentioned here.
  3. Voice change: Usually hoarseness of the voice, which is painless and not accompanied by a throat infection, is an indication of throat cancer.
  4. Difficulty swallowing or breathing: Depending on where the cancer is located, there could be problems in either free breathing or swallowing. The developing mass gets in the way of free air and/or food movement.
  5. Lumpy feeling in the throat: If the developing mass is along the length of the throat, then there could be a lumpy feeling, as if something is caught in the throat and not going down.
  6. Bleeding: There could be bleeding either through the nose or the mouth, depending on the place of the cancer. Again, this is one of the late symptoms and not seen in the beginning.
  7. Unexplained weight loss: As with any cancer, throat cancer also leads to unexplained weight loss.

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!

2020 people found this helpful

Neck Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

ENT Specialist, Delhi
Neck Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

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:

  1. Neck cancer affects the voice box, so a change in your voice can be noticed.
  2. Weight loss is also a symptom for neck cancer.
  3. A person suffering from neck cancer can also suffer from dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing.
  4. Sore throat in some cases can be considered as a symptom of neck cancer
  5. Bleeding from mouth or through your nose is also a common symptom for neck cancer.
  6. Ear pain in some cases is a symptom of neck cancer.
  7. Coughing persistently is also regarded as a symptom of neck cancer.
  8. Sometimes a lump in the neck is also noticed and it is usually painless.
  9. Some people also encounter breathing problem.
  10. In some cases a swelling of the neck, jaw or eyes can also be noticed.

Neck cancer involves certain risk factors too. Neck cancer can be treated in many ways. The following are few treatments available for neck cancer:

  1. Surgery: Your doctor can conduct a surgery for removing the tumors from your neck region. The doctor may decide to do either a microsurgery or laser treatment or endoscopy.
  2. Chemotherapy: If the tumor spreads to other regions or is large in size, then your doctor may recommend chemotherapy. 
  3. Radiation: It is used to destroy the malignant cells. It is usually conducted after removing the tumor.

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.

4606 people found this helpful

Throat Cancer - What Are The Most Common Causes Of It?

MBBS, MD-Radio Therapy
Oncologist, Ghaziabad
Throat Cancer - What Are The Most Common Causes Of It?

Throat cancer is as common as breast cancer and more than prostate cancer. In cause of throat cancer, keep smoking as first cause followed by alcohol. 

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 cancerPharyngeal 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:

  1. Gender – Men are up to five times more likely to get throat cancer as compared to women.
  2. Age - Now even young persons in their twenties and thirties are coming with throat cancer.
  3. Exposure to certain chemicals like Asbestos, Nickel, and Sulphuric acid fumes.

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.

3900 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, Mere gale mein cancer tha electric sikai ki wajah se mera mouth dry ho gaya hai. Kuch bhi nahi kha pa raha hoon khane se zyda paani peena padta hai. Koi solution batayen.

FACS, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Gurgaon
Mr. lybrate-user you will be o k after a few days mean while drink more water daily. And take syrup b complex two tea spoon three times aday.
6 people found this helpful

Some days ago I felt like something is sticked at my throat. By today it is giving me a pain. I smoke 3-5 cigarettes in a day. Is it a symptom of throat cancer? Please advice.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Please don't be panic. I suggest you to consult a surgeon in person. We are here to help you in every aspect of your mental and physical health. Any sexual or psychological problems can be cured with the help of various methods and therapies. I suggest you to post your query with every detail here. We will help you in overcoming your problems certainly. Take care.
1 person found this helpful

Hlo Dr. Grandma has a primary metastasis breast cancer which spread to lungs and throat Dr. says chemo but she did one chemo she cant handle now she take homeo and ayurvedic medicine She has a guilty shown outside the breast where there is a wound She has a pain in breast and guilty.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
If the breast cancer has fungated then it is better to do a toilet mastectomy to remove the same. What is the Biopsy and IHC report of the Breast? I would be able to opine better if you send the reports directly to me.
1 person found this helpful

Hi Sir, What is the sign of throat cancer and and which types of doctor treat these type of cancer and where I can test for throat cancer.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Oncology
Oncologist, Mohali
Signs are difficulty in swallowing Hoarseness (change )of voice Show to ENT Spl near you If he diagnoses cancer than you have to go to cancer centre.

Dr. I have been smoking form last 2 years in an average 5-6 cigrate a day. And I got an infection in throat. Is this a symptoms of cancer I worry?

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
If the infection subsided in a few days, it is not a symptom of cancer. If persistent, better to see a surgical oncologist for the same. Why not quit smoking, rather than waiting for the cancer to occur. Most of our patients quit smoking after they get cancer. But by that time it is quite late. 90% of the lung cancers we see in OPD are advanced or metastatic and cannot be cured. Please quit smoking before it is too late. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Head And Neck Cancer
Causes and symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer

My name is Dr. Manish Julaha and I practice Head & Neck Oncosurgery. Today I'll tell you some facts about Head and Neck cancer how to predict them early. So in India approxiately 1.2 million cancer patients are detected every year, and out of this one thirds of the number occur in head and neck, mainly oral cavity and throat. And this is a very big number if you compare with rest of the countries because head and neck cancer they account for less than 10% in western countries and less than 4% in U.S. So what is the cause of such high number of head and neck cancers in India. It is mainly the use of tobacco and another sad fact about head and neck cancer in India is that majority of the patients, you can say more than 65% are present in stage 3 or stage 4. And we say cancer is curable if it is detected early and when patients presents to us in such late stages it effects all the paramaeters like overall survival, treatment outcome, side effects, functional outcome, quality of life everything is affected. And when patients come in early stage, the treatment is less invasive with less side effects and the functional outcome is very good and the chances of recurrence is very less.

So what can we do to detect head and neck cancer at the earliest. We can do this if we've the knowledge of the signs and symptoms which hint towards the head and neck cancer and by doing self examination. So what are the early signs and symptoms. They're mainly any ulcer in the oral cavity which dosen't heal in three weaks or any lump in the lung or oral cavity, any red or white patches in the oral cavity, or there maybe unexplained earache or nasal blockage, mainly on one side, specially with blood stained mucous discharge, ill fitting of denture because of any swelling in the gums. So, these are the early signs and symptoms. If we find any such thing we should take expert opinion. And by doing self examination we can detect head and neck cancer at the earliest. I would say all those people who're at a high risk of getting head and neck cancer they should do the self examination at least once a month. So who're the people who're at high risk of getting head and neck cancer. Most importantly those who use tobacco in any form, then elderly people above the age of 45 and people who have exposure to ionizing radiation in past, and people who have had head and neck cancer in the past they're at high risk of getting a second cancer so they should also be very careful.

Now, how to do this self examination. It is very simple, to do this you've to stand in front of the mirror and you've to feel both the lips, upper lips and lower lips, using your thumb and index finger feel both the lips and by pulling them outward you've to see the inner lining of the upper lip and lower lip and also you have to look at the upper gums and lower gums. And using your thumb and index finger pull your cheek and look at the inner lining of your cheek on both sides and look for any ulcer or lump or any red or white patches. Now just open your mouth and say "aaa" and while saying "aaa" just look at the throat and also at the roof of the mouth. Then by touching your tongue on the back of upper teeth have a look at the under surface of the tongue and the floor of mouth. Then pull your tongue outward and look at it's upper surface, by moving the sideways look at the sides also. Again look for any ulcer or lumps or any red or white patches and you have to examine your neck also. Just by standing straight palpate below the jaw bone and above the collar bones, and by moving the head backwards look for any asymmetry of the neck, if there is any fullness on one side as compared to the other side, there maybe some lump. If you find any such thing just take expert opinion.

Thank you very much for watching this video and contacting through Lybrate . Thank You.
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Oral Cancer
Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. It can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
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