Cancer of the throat is cancer of the vocal cords, voice box, or other areas of the throat.

Throat cancer occurs when the cells in the throat grow uncontrollably and continue to live when the normal cells would have died. These accumulated cells form lump in the throat which is tumor or cancer.

Reasons

  • smoking
  • alcohol consumption
  • HPV
  • asbestos exposure
  • dietary exposures

Symptoms

  • persistent cough
  • difficulty swallowing
  • persistent hoarseness or having to clear your throat frequently
  • sore throat
  • lump in the throat
  • change in the sound of your voice
  • abnormal breathing sounds

Types

Both throat and voice box are closely connected with the voice box just below the throat.

Laryngeal

This throat cancer develops in the voice box.

Pharyngeal

This throat cancer develops in the throat.

Nasopharyngeal cancer

This cancer begins in the part of throat just behind your nose.

Oropharyngeal cancer

This begins in the part of throat right behind your mouth that includes your tonsils.

Hypo pharyngeal cancer

This cancer begins in the lower part of your throat, just above your esophagus and windpipe.

Glottic cancer

This cancer begins in the vocal cords.

Supraglottic cancer

It begins in the upper portion of the larynx and includes cancer that affects the epiglottis, which is a piece of cartilage that blocks food from going into your windpipe.

Subglottic cancer

It begins in the lower portion of your voice box, below your vocal cords.

Diagnosis

Laryngoscopy is performed on the patient. During this procedure, a thin, fiber-optic scope is fed down the throat, allowing the doctor to see the back of the throat, larynx, and vocal cords. A sample of tissue is taken if any suspicious area is discovered. This is called a biopsy, and it either confirms or rules out cancer.

Staging of the cancer is done to detect whether it had spread to the other parts or nearby tissues or not.

Treatment

  • Surgery

Surgery can be as simple as using laser therapy to remove cancerous tissue, to more aggressive surgical approaches. It is effective in removal of the cancerous cells in the early stages of life.

  • Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is given as a primary treatment, as well as sometimes after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells or to remove cancerous tissue that could not be removed during surgery.

  • Throat Cancer Types and Cure

    Throat Cancer Types and Cure

    Chemotherapy

In this therapy, chemicals are used, to destroy the cancerous cells in the body. The medication used in this therapy may be given on one single day, a few consecutive days or continuously. The duration of the treatment depends entirely on the type and the stage of cancer. It is accompanied with the following side effects.

  • Body catches infection fast as production of WBC stops.
  • Anemia
  • Increased bleeding
  • Appetite loss
  • Hair loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth pain
  • Stomatitis

Some of the problems mentioned above can be avoided or at least minimized with the help of medication, home remedies or lifestyle changes.