Cancer can occur in any part of the body. This disease uproots from the cells. Cancer strikes when the body cells begin to multiply and divide uncontrollably. The malignant growth formed due to such abnormal cells is called as the tumor. Throat cancer is nothing but the cancer of different parts of the throat such as vocal cords, voice box, oropharynx and tonsils. The signs and symptoms of throat cancer are quite general yet identifiable.
Though there are several types of throat cancers, they can be classified into two broad categories such as pharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer. While Pharyngeal cancer uproots in the pharynx, Laryngeal cancer uproots in the larynx. Pharyngeal is a hollow tube that moves from the behind of your nose towards the top of the windpipe. On the other hand, the larynx is the voice box. Throat cancer is quite uncommon as compared to other cancer complaints reported each year.
Potential Signs and Symptoms of Throat Cancer
- A change in the voice tone
- Inability to speak properly
- Problem in swallowing
- Sudden weight loss
- Soreness of the throat
- A constant need to clear the throat
- Frequent coughing and presence of blood in cough
- Bleeding through the nose
- Swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck
- Swelling in the neck, eyes, jaws and throat
- Ear pain
- Hoarseness in the throat
Causes of Throat Cancer
Reports have shown that men are more likely to develop throat cancer than women. This disease basically erupts due to the lifestyle habits. This cancer can also be linked to other types of cancers. Generally, people diagnosed with throat cancer also have signs of bladder, esophageal and cancer at the same time. This is because these cancers uproot in the same part of the body and have same risk factors too.
Some bad lifestyle habits that can increase the risk of throat cancer include:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Excessive smoking
- Deficiency of vitamin A
- Exposure to asbestos
- Poor dental hygiene
- Due to sexually transmitted infection human papillomavirus (HPV)
There are different treatments or a combination of treatments that can be advised to a patient showing early signs of throat cancer. This includes radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy etc.
How to Recover Post Throat Cancer Treatment?
The possibilities of recovery vary from person to person in throat cancer. While some people regain the ability to speak, others might come across difficulties. These problems can be overcome with the help of a speech therapist and physical therapist.
Several Issues Experienced By Throat Cancer Patients Post-Treatment Include:
- A difficulty in swallowing
- The disfigurement of the face or the neck portion
- Difficulty in breathing
- Inability to speak
- Hardening of the skin around neck
Your doctor might suggest you some reconstructive surgery to overcome the disfigurement of neck and face. Moreover, an occupational therapist can help the throat cancer patients in dealing with the difficulty in swallowing.
How to Prevent Throat Cancer?
Though there is no exact way to prevent the possibility of throat cancer, you can minimize the risk by following these simple lifestyle related habits:
- If you are a frequent smoker then it’s time to stop this habit. You can take help from over-the-counter or nicotine replacement products. Such products are easily available in the market and you must consult your doctor to prescribe you ideal medication for the same.
- The alcohol consumption also needs to be monitored. While men can consume up to two drinks per day, women must restrict the intake to one drink per day only.
- Protect yourself from the risk of HPV by limiting the number of sexual partners or by making use of condoms.
A healthy lifestyle should also incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables. Lastly, as soon as you notice the signs and symptoms of throat cancer, visit a doctor immediately. The more early diagnosis of throat cancer is, the better the treatment would be.