Cancer of the Throat
Alternative NamesSquamous Cell Carcinoma of the Tonsil
What is Cancer of the Throat
Throat cancer takes its beginning in your throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils. The throat is the passage from the back of your mouth to the top tubes that go down to your stomach and lungs. Voice box is the part of your throat that you use to produce the sounds when you speak. Both the throat and the voice box are located below the throat.
Throat cancer is subdivided into different types:
- Nasopharyngeal cancer originates just behind your nose.
- Oropharyngeal cancer starts behind your mouth that includes your tonsils.
- Hypopharyngeal cancer (laryngopharyngeal cancer) develops in the hypopharynx (the lower part of your throat, just above your esophagus and windpipe).
- Glottic cancer located in the vocal cords.
- Supraglottic cancer begins in the upper portion of the larynx (the part of your throat where the voice produced).
- Subglottic cancer. This type of the cancer is found in the lower portion of your voice box, below your vocal cords.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms below may signal that the person has got a throat cancer:
- A cough
- A hoarseness (when you speak in a low rough voice)
- Swallowing problems
- Feeling pain in your ear
- Open wound
- A sore throat
The patients with throat cancer can have possible complications:
- Swallowing problems
- Airway obstruction
- Disfigured neck or face
- Stiff skin of the neck
- Speaking disability
- Metastasis of the cancer
The main reasons leading to the occurrence of throat cancer is the development of genetic mutations in your throat. As a result uncontrolled growth of tumour cells happen which can live longer than healthy cells.
Unfortunately there are no proper ways which help to prevent the disease. But in order to avoid your risk of occurrence of throat cancer, you should:
- Get rid of smoking
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Keep to a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Don’t contact chemicals
- Avoid breathing hazardous chemical fumes
- Air your room and working place
There are the following ways of throat cancer treatments:
- Surgery – can help to get rid of tumour alone, either combined with radiation therapy, especially when it’s of small size. Some patients are offered operations which can help to remove the tumor, including all or part of the vocal cords.
- Radiotherapy is used when the tumor reached the second stage and became larger. If the tomour has spread to lymph nodes in the neck, a combination of radiation and chemotherapy is recommended.
- Speech therapy can be effective if you’ve got laryngectomy. There exist some other ways to talk that are leant.
- Swallowing therapy helps patients adjust to the changes in the structure of the throat.