Sensing Larynx Cancer: Throat Cancer Symptoms You Have To Know
I'm sure not everyone knows that the throat is scientifically known as the larynx. Aside from the throat's other moniker, it surely won't hurt to know more important details about the throat, especially in terms of its medical conditions.
What exactly is the larynx?
The throat or larynx is that part of the windpipe, also known as trachea that is found on its uppermost. It is approximately five centimeters long and is also known as the "voice box". Why voice box, you say? It contains the vocal cords. The vocal cords are those muscle tissue ridges that are V-shaped. They are found inside the larynx's lining. To produce speech, as the air passes, these vocal cords vibrate.
For a more physical feel of it, try to feel your Adam's apple. This is the prominent or protruded portion of the neck, which is just below your chin. The Adam's apple is the front part of the larynx or throat.
To get into more details about your throat, here's more of how it functions.
As one breathes, air gets into the larynx and goes down to the trachea going to the lungs. Upon swallowing, a slight upward motion is executed by the larynx. This way a cartilage tissue flap known as the epiglottis obstructs the entrance to the larynx. This epiglottis is found at the tongue's back. This action makes sure that any swallowed food or drink goes down to the gullet or esophagus and not to the trachea. This is because if the food goes to the trachea, it will result to choking.
Now the gory part, what about delving into one dreaded medical condition of the throat known as throat or larynx cancer.
Usually, people over the age of 50 gets this disease. Those that are in the habit of smoking or excessive intake of alcohol are at greater risk of developing this kind of cancer.
As with many forms of cancer, it is mostly at its "curable" form when diagnosed at an early stage. Like many types of cancer, the more a cancer has grown and or spread, the less chance of treating it well.
Tell-Tale Signs of a Larynx Cancer
1. Hoarse Voice
This is usually the first sign that a larynx cancer is present. The reason behind this is that most throat cancers develops first on or near a vocal cord. But of course, not all people with hoarse voice have throat cancer. Oftentimes, it is also associated with simple laryngitis, which is an infection of the throat caused by a virus. What will tip off that it might be a throat cancer that your hoarse voice is trying to tell is that when your voice does not return to normal after two to four weeks.
2. Throat Lump or Lumps
Small nodes that develop around the throat may show even before having hoarse voice may warn about a throat cancer. This is especially true when the throat cancer does not start near the vocal cords.
3. Throat Discomfort upon Swallowing
Persistent pain when swallowing may be felt on the throat. And this can also warn one about the spreading of throat tumor, even before developing a hoarse voice.
4. Breathing Difficulty
The same (occurrence of lumps and pain) is true with having difficulty with breathing.
5. Other symptoms of throat cancer
Swelling of lymph nodes, mouth sores that don't heal or decrease in size, red or dark patches or lumps inside the mouth, when the cheek thickens, difficulty to move or numbness of the tongue, weight loss that is not intended, difficulty to move or swelling and pain in the jaw, loosening or pain around the teeth, lumps in the neck, severe discomfort in an ear when one has a normal eardrum.
All those mentioned signs and symptoms may also be due to other medical conditions. So, it is still advisable to take tests to confirm that it is actually a throat cancer that is menacing the body of a person.