Know More About Throat Cancer
Among the many types of cancer, there is a kind which distinctly affects a person’s vocal cords. Vocal cords may also be also referred to as a "voice box" or larynx. If this is the part affected, then a person could have throat cancer if a person exhibits signs of having larynx or throat cancer, then it is best to consult a medical professional as soon as possible so that the disease can be treated.
What is the Voice Box?
The "voice box" is medically known as the larynx. The voice box and the vocal cords lets air flow through the mouth and lungs. This air flowing through the larynx makes vibrations in the throat, and this is how sound is produced from the voice box.
Causes of Throat Cancer
The number one cause of throat cancer is smoking. The risk of having cancer of the larynx is greatly increased with excessive alcohol consumption.
Vitamin deficiency and a weak immune system, especially if caused by alcohol consumption, also increases the probability that a person would have throat cancer. Some job-related causes that may lead to throat cancer are the following:
- exposure to asbestos
- overexposure to wood dust or fumes from paint
- overexposure to petroleum-related chemicals
- a virus called human papillomavirus or HPV
Throat Cancer Symptoms
The symptoms of cancer of the larynx include having a hoarse voice and sore throat. Do not just ignore a common sickness like cold or flu.
You will never know if these mighty be early symptoms of lung cancer. If a person has a lump in the mouth or if the sore throat symptoms do not heal after two weeks, then these may be signs of throat cancer.
Check out any unusual lumps or nodes in the neck because it might be a larynx tumor that is beginning to grow.
Other symptoms include:
- any unusual pain in the mouth
- having loose teeth
- foul-smelling breath
- a certain change in the way that a person speaks
- difficulty with breathing or swallowing
- a stain of blood with the cough
- earaches and other pain in the neck and throat area
- weight loss
- unusually tender lymph nodes
Diagnosis and Treatment of Throat Cancer
If a physician sees cancer symptoms in a patient, then the throat will be examined. Doctors will look for lumps in the affected area. For more serious cases and a more thorough examination, the laryngoscope is used to go through the larynx.
The stages of larynx cancer is checked by locating the area where the cancer is spread. The treatment is done so that a patient would have no trouble speaking or swallowing.
Radiation therapy, laser treatment and surgery are just some of the options to treat throat cancer. Depending on the stage that a person is in once the disease is diagnosed, then the applicable treatment will be applied.
The earliest stages of throat cancer have the most positive results when it comes to patient recovery.
Some diseases, called laryngopharyngeal reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease can be another cause of throat cancer. These diseases damage the lining of the esophagus, thus leaving a person more susceptible to larynx or throat cancer.
Just like most types of cancer, it is much better if the condition will be diagnosed early so that the treatment would be more effective.
There are other conditions or ailments involving the throat which are not so serious. However, if any of the symptoms persist or they do not heal in about two weeks, it is better to consult a medical professional because the person may be exhibiting throat cancer symptoms.