Like many women and man, you may experience certain symptoms and are unsure if they should be cause for concern. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to have a sore throat or hoarse voice and wonder – How to know if I have throat cancer?
Throat cancer is a serious condition and must be treated as such by patients and providers alike.
In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about throat cancer, including symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options.
We hope this article helps raise awareness about throat cancer and encourages people to seek medical help when needed.
What Are the Symptoms of Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer symptoms can vary from patient to patient, but the most common symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Trouble swallowing
- Persistent cough
- Ear pain
- Sudden weight loss
Although, these symptoms may indicate other health conditions, it is important to rule out throat cancer as a possible cause. Also, keep in mind that some early-stage throat cancers don’t have any symptoms at all.
How to Know If I Have Throat Cancer?
If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms associated with throat cancer, you may be wondering: How to know if I have throat cancer?
Rather than look for answers from friends or online, you should seek medical attention right away. Doing so, will ensure a proper assessment of your symptoms and concerns.
At your examination, your doctor may also recommend tests such as endoscopy, imaging scans, or biopsies to confirm the presence of throat cancer.
What Are the Different Types of Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer can be categorized into different types based on the location of the cancerous cells.
The two main types of throat cancer are pharyngeal cancer, which affects the pharynx (the tube that connects your mouth and nose to your esophagus), and laryngeal cancer, which affects the larynx (voice box).
Other less common types of throat cancer include oral cavity cancer, which affects the mouth and tongue, and nasopharyngeal cancer, which affects the upper part of the throat behind the nose.
These different types of throat cancer may present with similar symptoms but have varying forms of treatment and prognosis.
Throat Cancer Causes
Although the exact cause of throat cancer is unknown, there are certain risk factors that can increase the chance of developing it. These include: Tobacco and alcohol use, poor diet, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
People who smoke and drink, in particular, are at a higher risk for throat cancer. HPV is also becoming a more significant risk factor among younger people.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Throat cancer is usually diagnosed through a physical exam, biopsy, and imaging tests, which include CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans. Doctors may also perform a laryngoscopy, which involves inserting a thin tube with a camera into the throat to view the tissue inside.
Early diagnosis is crucial in treating throat cancer, and patients should seek medical help if they experience any symptoms.
The treatment options for throat cancer depend on the stage and type of cancer. Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the most common treatments used alone or in combination.
Surgery involves the removal of cancerous tissue, radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells, and chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
In some cases, immunotherapy may also be used to help the body’s immune system fight cancer.
Schedule an Appointment with a Specialist Today
If you’re experiencing symptoms and wondering – How to know if I have throat cancer? – please call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled and experienced throat cancer specialists.