Have you found yourself wondering: Do I have throat cancer? If so, it’s important to know that early detection and treatment can increase the chances of survival.
In this blog post, we bring to you the ultimate guide to throat cancer. Read on as we discuss notable symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
What is Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the pharynx, larynx, tonsils, or nasopharynx. It can occur in any part of the throat. However, it is more common in the vocal cords and oropharynx.
There are two types – squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma affects the outer layers of the throat lining. Adenocarcinoma affects the glandular tissue.
Do I Have Throat Cancer?
If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, you may be wondering: Do I have throat cancer?
The most common symptoms include:
- Persistent sore throat
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Ear pain
- A lump or swelling in the neck
- Unexplained weight loss
In the early stages, these symptoms may be mild and intermittent. That said, they become more severe and persistent as cancer spreads.
What Are the Causes?
The leading causes include:
- Tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV)
Smoking and alcohol consumption weaken the immune system and cause mutations in the cells of the throat lining, leading to cancer.
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancer in the throat, mouth, or genitals.
Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the primary treatment options. However, it ultimately depends on the stage and location of the patient’s cancer.
In the early stages, surgery or radiation therapy may be enough to remove throat cancer.
In advanced stages, surgery, radiation therapy, as well as chemotherapy may be required. The treatment may also involve rehabilitation and speech therapy.
Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and practicing safe sex can help reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Regular dental checkups can also help detect the early signs of oral cancer, which can stop cancer from spreading to the throat.
Schedule a Consultation with a Specialist
If you’re concerned about your risk, please call our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled and experienced specialists.