What is throat cancer ?

Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer occurring in the pharynx (throat). Throat begins in the area behind the nose and mouth and extends to the esophagus (feeding tube). The oropharynx, hypopharynx, and nasopharynx are three different parts of the pharynx among which the oropharynx(the part near the throat) is the one that is usually affected during throat cancer

Types of Throat Cancer

Understanding the types is quite vital as the three parts of the pharynx have different functions and the effects might vary as well.

Throat Cancer Treatment

Nasopharyngeal cancer:

throat cancer surgery

Oropharyngeal cancer:

Throat Cancer Surgery in KPHB

Hypo pharyngeal cancer:

Symptoms of throat cancer :

1. Persistent cough

2. Lump in the neck

3. Difficulty while swallowing food

4. Change in voice or hoarseness

5. Constant ear pain

Causes of Throat Cancer

- Infection with Human Papillomavirus: : A virus that occurs in the Oropharynx and is mainly present when a person is diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer. This occurs in non-smokers and non-drinkers

- Consumption of excess tobacco products and excess alcohol especially without water or soda.

- Chewing excessive betel quid or powdered areca nuts.

- Exposure to radiation in the past

- Genetic problems

How to Diagnose Throat Cancer

  • - A detailed examination of the patient's history in terms of eating habits, alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption, and overall lifestyle
  • - A complete checking of the throat requires a pan endoscopy
  • - Also a special checking of the oropharynx where throat cancer is likely to be diagnosed
  • - Evaluating through imaging techniques like CT-Scan, MRI, and PET scan
  • - Biopsy of the neck mass will be tested for certain viruses like human papillomavirus (HPV – a common cause of cancer of oropharynx)

Treatment for Throat Cancer

Throat Cancer Treatment is completely dependent on the diagnosis and surgery or radiation therapy or chemotherapy or a combination of these is the treatment goal for this cancer.

The diagnosis of HPV-16 and its presence will decide the throat Cancer Treatment procedures which are less intensive and do not require radiation methods.

Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation is a long-term treatment that is recommended post the above-mentioned methods.

Preventing throat cancer:

1. Refrain from smoking and consuming any tobacco products.

2. Avoid excess drinking of alcohol

3. Take a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

5. Reduce the risk of HPV infection.

FAQ's

Yes. Throat cancer is rare but it develops quickly. As mentioned above, symptoms of throat cancer include a persistent sore throat and/or cough, hoarseness, ear pain, difficulty swallowing, and a neck mass. If diagnosed quickly, the treatment can deliver good results
There are some types of throat cancers that originate in the throat and spread to other areas of the body. The cancer cells found outside of the throat are identical to those found in the throat
HPV infects the mouth and throat leading to cancers of the oropharynx. This is called oropharyngeal cancer
ENT can detect throat cancer up to a certain extent. The ENT will examine your larynx and hypopharynx, including the esophagus and trachea. For better diagnosis, it is always suggestible to consult a head and neck oncologist
Throat cancer is something that escalates quickly. Reports suggest that a Stage4a throat cancer patient can survive up to less than a year if the cancer is left untreated. Hence, it is suggested to get the treatment at the earliest

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