(pharynx and larynx cancer)
is throat cancer?
Cancer of the throat usually originates from cells which cover the mucous membrane
lining the throat. As the tumour grows, it penetrates the mucous membrane and
the muscle layers to surrounding tissues. The lymph nodes, neck, lungs and other
organs can gradually become affected.
Generally cancer of the throat occurs in three distinct regions: the oropharynx,
the nasopharynx and the hypopharynx. However, because these cancers have so
many common features, they can be discussed together. Throat cancer is three
times more common in males than in females and generally does not occur before
the age of 50.
causes throat cancer?
- Excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Inhaling coal, asbestos or diesel fumes.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Excessive consumption of salty meat.
- Abnormal tissue growth.
are the symptoms of throat cancer?
Initially throat cancer shows no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they usually
- Difficulty and pain when swallowing.
- Hoarseness and a persistent sore throat.
- Traces of blood in the sputum.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
- Pain in the upper neck and jaw.
- Ear pain, with partial hearing loss if region affected is behind the nose.
- Sense of something sticking in the throat.
is throat cancer treated?
Treatment of throat cancer is rather risky and complex. Factors considered
by a doctor are the location of the cancer and the stage of development, as
well as the impact treatment may have on your speech.
If the cancer is detected at an early stage it can be cured through radiation
and surgery. However, if it is not caught early enough extensive surgery is
required and the larynx and pharynx may have to be removed. If the larynx is
removed, you will have to relearn how to speak. Removal of the pharynx necessitates
surgical insertion of a tube to enable the passage of food. However, in half
of all cases, remission is obtained.
should I call my doctor?
Call your doctor if:
- Chest colds last longer than two weeks.
- You encounter unexplained hoarseness.
- Your voice becomes coarse.
- Swollen lymph nodes appear in your neck.
- You notice blood in the saliva and have nasal secretions.
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