Throat cancer is the growth of malignant/cancer cells in the throat. It affects the inner lining of the throat, the voice box known as the larynx, and the hollow tube behind the mouth and nose called the pharynx and tonsils. Throat cancer is also called laryngeal cancer or pharyngeal cancer.
What are The Risk Factors of Throat Cancer?
Excessive Use of Tobacco:
However, Researchers found that excessive or prolonged use of tobacco can cause throat cancer. Moreover, chemicals in tobacco destroy the normal lining of the throat impact cell division, and alter the genetic makeup of cells. This irregular or abnormal cell division causes tumor formation and leads to the development of cancer.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption:
Excessive alcohol use is linked with throat cancer. similarly, Alcohol again disturbs the lining of the throat, tonsils, pharynx, and larynx. Researchers mentioned that alcohol contains carcinogens.
Frequent Throat Infections:
Frequent fungal infections known as candida albicans and sexually transmitted infections cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to the development of cancer.Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, frequent tonsillitis etc.
Excessive use of gutka:
Chewing gutka can lead to damage to oral mucosa however also risks the development of oral cancer if consumption is more. However, the risk can be prevented by avoiding the use of gutka.
Family History: Moreover, people with a family history of throat or gastrointestinal cancer are at greater risk of developing throat cancer.
Poor Oral Hygiene:
Poor oral hygiene can be a risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer. Moreover, this promotes fungal, viral, or bacterial infections in the oral mucosa.
What are the Symptoms of Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer has the following symptoms.
Persistent Throat pain
Swelling and redness in
Changes in voice/hoarseness
Excessive salivation due to inflammation
A feeling of something stuck in the throat
Blood in saliva or during coughing
Mass or lump in the neck
DiagnosisThroat Cancer :
Throat cancer can be diagnosed by the following.
your healthcare provider will assess your throat, mouth, and neck to look for any changes. Moreover, this examination will assess any swollen glands in the neck, whitish or reddish discoloration, swollen tonsils, and any other abnormality.
This is done by using a flexible tube containing a mini camera to look for any inflammation or other changes. Furthermore, it gives a clear picture of the mouth, throat, larynx, pharynx, and tonsils.
For an accurate diagnosis, a small sample may be taken from an inflamed, suspicious, or swollen lymph node. This procedure can also be performed during an endoscopy.
Computed Tomography Scan:
This shows the extension of the disease or to see other areas of the body. Moreover, this test helps in the staging of throat cancer.
Magnetic Resonance Image:
Being able to observe how a disease spreads to different areas is important, and it also helps in determining the stage of cancer. However, MRI is the most specific in diagnosing soft tissue cancer.
Treatment Options for Throat Cancer:
The type of treatment recommended for an individual with cancer depends upon the stage of the cancer and their overall health condition. Moreover, there are several treatment options available to consider.
Surgical Resection of Cancerous Part:
If the cancer is localized to a small or specific area and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body, your doctor may recommend surgical removal of the tumor. This procedure may involve,
- Tonsillectomy: Your physician will remove the tonsils if the cancer cells are only confined to the tonsils.
- Laryngectomy: Your larynx (voice box) will be removed if the cancer cells are only localized to the voice box or larynx.
- Pharyngectomy: Pharynx will be surgically removed, if the cancer is localized to a small part of the pharynx.
Radiotherapy: A large beam of X-rays known as radiation therapy is given to kill cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: Cytotoxic medicine called chemotherapy is given to kill cancer cells.
Targeted Therapy: Medicine in this therapy targets the proteins needed for the growth of cancer cells, thus inhibiting cancer cell growth.
Immunotherapy: In this therapy, medicine is administered to patients to boost the patient’s immunity, so that cancer cells could be attacked by the patient’s immune system.
Palliative treatment: If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, your physician will try to keep the patient comfortable and will only treat the symptoms
Prevention of Throat Cancer :
However, there is no guarantee of preventing cancer but we can reduce some risk factors which can lead to cause cancer. These risk factors are as follows
Quit smoking: Excessive smoking can be associated with the development of cancer, so quitting smoking can lower the risk of throat cancer.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption: Using alcohol in moderation can reduce the risk of development of cancer.
Safe Handling of Hazardous Material:
People working in places or factories, where there are cytotoxic chemicals, Carcinogens, or other dangerous chemicals or irritants should be handled with care.
Get HPV Vaccination:
Vaccination against HPV can give some protection and reduce the risk of throat cancer.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene:
Good oral hygiene plays an important role in preventing oral infections and thus can reduce the risk of getting oral or throat cancer to some extent.
A diet containing anti-oxidants and an immune-boosting can help protect someone from getting cancer risk.
Avoid the use of GUTKA /PAN:
Avoid using gutka or pan can prevent you from getting oral or throat cancer.
Maintain good Hydration: Good hydration can keep the oral mucosa and throat moist. However, well-hydrated mucosa can be less affected by the chemicals.
Throat cancer in advanced stages can be extremely challenging to treat and can cause significant distress for the patient. However, an early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes. Moreover, taking steps to identify and reduce risk factors can help prevent the development of cancer.