Throat cancer is a type of cancer which has formed within the tissues of the pharynx. This area is where the larynx is located which affects how one creates sound as well as breathing and swallowing. In addition cancer cells from this disease can also be found in the lips, mouth and tongue. Like so many other types of cancer, the ability to spot and understand the throat cancer symptoms can help one to identify the disease in its early stages and provide the best possible results from treatment. So let’s explore some of the important throat cancer symptoms.
However it should be noted that for many types of cancers, scientists and doctors are unsure as to what causes it. But with throat cancer, it has been shown that people who smoke or use tobacco run a higher risk of developing the disease than those who do not. Other risk factors include excessive use of alcohol, excessive exposure to sunlight, and significant inhalation of coal, dust, asbestos and diesel fumes. The risk factors also increase for people over the age of 50. It is more common in men than in women.
As with many types of cancer, the early signs of the disease can be difficult to spot. And they may be confused with other causes or illnesses. But here are some of the most common and important throat cancer symptoms:
- A tendency to experience constant and chronic earaches
- Chronic and persistent sore throat
- Difficult in speaking. This is due to the growing tumor which may be affecting the larynx section of the throat. If you experience this problem, seek proper medical attention immediately.
- Enlarged lymph nodes. This is a common symptom associated with many kinds of cancer so it should be checked out in any case.
- Areas of the face may feel numb
- Hoarseness of the voice. This is another symptom which can be caused by the tumor affecting the voice box.
- Persistent pain when swallowing
- The presence of sores in the mouth or tongue which do not easily heal and go away
There are some other symptoms which can indicate a problem caused by throat cancer or from other issues. It is very important to seek proper medical attention irregardless. So if you have problems breathing, have a loss of speech, show disfigurement of the face, show deformities in the skin, and experience profound pain when swallowing there is definitely something wrong and a proper diagnosis is essential.
There are a number of ways in which this type of cancer can be diagnosed. It may include physical exams as well imaging techniques such as x-ray, MRI or ultrasound. If there is a suspicion of throat cancer, a biopsy of the affected tissue will be taken to check for the presence of cancer cells.
If a positive diagnosis is made, there are many kinds of treatment option depending on the stage of cancer and factors related to the patient. The treatment may focus on surgical techniques to remove the cancerous tissue and cells. In addition other treatments may be used including radiation and chemotherapy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors which might not be accessible via surgery. It can also be used to kill any remaining cancer cells following surgery.
If the cancer has spread beyond the throat and infected other parts of the body, treatment options may stress control of the disease rather than a complete cure. The most effective treatment occurs when the cancer is identified in the early stages. So pay attention to these symptoms and get checked our regularly.