When cancer cells are created in the issue of throat, the throat cancer will develop. It is a common type of head and neck cancer that is affecting around 13,430 adults in United states each year. Men are four time more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than women.
The cancer may cause the following symptoms:
- Hoarseness or voice changes
- swallowing difficulty
- Feeling like you have a mass in your throat
- Sever coughs or chest infection
- Bad breath
- Weight loss
- Ear pain that lasts for a long time
The risk of throat cancer will be increased if you:
- Smoke or drink a lot
- Have a poor diet
- Have a weakened immune system
- Have been exposed with chemical substance and the other toxins such as pain fumes or soot
- Have acid reflux
Who may get throat cancer?
The throat cancer is more common among African-American and white races than the other ones. More than half of the affected people are around 65 age or older.
Beside the above condition, if you are second hand smoker for a long time the risk of developing throat cancer will increase. Second hand smoke is the cigarette or shisha smoke that non-smokers breath in and is very harmful.
How it is diagnosed?
Initially your doctor will do a physical exam and consider the unnatural signs in your neck and throat such as swollen lymph nodes, as well as checking the inner oral structures like cheek, lips, gum, tongue and throat.
Your doctor also may remove some tissue samples and send for biopsy. For the better observation, may insert a thin tube with a light and lens called a laryngoscope. Many different tests including C.T scan, M.R.I, PET scan, bone scan or X-rays can apply to diagnose the throat cancer.
Different types of throat cancer
Throat cancer contain different types as bellow:
- Squamous cell carcinoma, it is the most common type
- Adenocarcinoma, lymph node cancer which release mucosae, it is the less common type.
The other types that occur rarely are:
- Lymphoepithelioma, spindle-shape cells cancer
- Mucoepidermoid, salivary gland cancer
- Spindle cell carcinoma, connective tissue cancer
- Verrucous cancer, oral verrucous carcinoma
- Lymphomas, a group of blood cells tumors
- Undifferentiated carcinoma, cells or tissues cancer with un specialized function
- Sarcoma, Connective tissue cancer
- Melanoma, cells containing melanin
Same as the other types of cancer, there are different options for treating throat cancer such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.
In this method, the medicine is used in order to kill or stop the cancer cells. This medication can be given by injection or as an oral medication.
It is another option to treat throat cancer. The surgeon will remove vocal folds or part of the throat, depending on the injured location in the throat and the disease extension. In some cases, maybe entire larynx should be removed. The surgery goal, is removing cancer and preserve the patient’s ability to talk.
If the throat cancer diagnoses early, it is usually treatable. You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you have any symptoms.
What kinds of specialists can treat throat cancer?
Most treatment centers create a medical team for treating the throat cancer that may include the following specialist:
- Plastic surgeons
- Radiation oncologists
- Swallowing experts
- Pathologist or speech pathologist
- Therapists (physical, speech and occupational)
A group of different specialists who provide for a patient will increase the chance of treating different types of throat cancer and will reduce symptoms. These specialists can create the local support group to help patients and their families change their life style in order to live well with this disease.
Is there any home remedy for throat cancer?
There is no home remedy to treat throat cancer, but some home remedies can decrease the disease symptoms. Although they are not recommended medically but they may reduce the disease symptoms in certain patients same as the most home medicines. These treatments are including:
- Herbs such as green tea and garlic
- Dietary supplements containing vitamins and foods contain vitamin C and acid folic
- Hydrotherapy (heat and cold compress)
- Physical therapy
- Changing life style such as doing exercise, proper diet and avoid smoking
Patient should consult with their doctors before trying above treatment.
Although there is no general screening for throat cancer but those patients who are more expose with the risk of throat cancer, should see their doctor if they observe any disease symptoms. People who smoke or are expose with HPV virus, asbestos, nickel or sulfuric acid fumes are more treated by throat cancer. However, there is no guarantee to prevent it. But a good way to decrease the risk of cancer is HPV vaccine injection.