Throat cancer is a type of cancer which affects the throat, voice box, and other surrounding laryngeal and pharyngeal structure
In order to help catch it early, it’ s important to understand the signs and symptoms of throat cancer as well as its treatments and prognoses.
What Are The Symptoms Of Throat Cancer?
Symptoms of throat cancer can vary depending on the location and size of the tumor. Common symptoms include:
- Neck or throat pain,
- Persistent coughing,
- Changes in your voice,
- Difficulty swallowing,
- Weight loss, and
- Lumps in the neck.
If you experience any of these symptoms for an extended period of time, it’ s important to speak with a medical professional as soon as possible to discuss further testing.
What Causes Throat Cancer?
According to the latest research, throat cancer can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Smoking and other tobacco use,
- Heavy alcohol consumption,
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and
- Long- term acid reflux (GERD).
However, it’ s important to note that even if you don’ t have any risk factors, you can still develop throat cancer.
Regular screenings are the best way to detect this type of cancer early and significantly improve the prognosis.
How is Throat Cancer Diagnosed?
Diagnosing throat cancer typically involves an examination by a doctor, blood tests, imaging scans, and tests to check a person’ s reflexes.
A biopsy or tissue sample might also be taken to get a more detailed diagnosis. In some cases, the doctor may need to look at the inside of the throat with an instrument called a tongue depressor.
If a suspicious area is found, they can take pictures or samples that can later be analyzed in a laboratory.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Throat Cancer?
Treatment for throat cancer may involve:
- Radiation therapy,
- Chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.
Depending on the stage and location of the cancer, a combination of treatments might be used.
Surgery can include removing tumors, lymph nodes and other parts of the throat to help with recovery.
Radiation therapy uses high- energy x- rays that target specific areas within your throat to reduce any remaining tumors.
Chemotherapy drugs are injected systemically throughout the body, while targeted therapies deliver certain drugs directly to tumors to shrink them.
Your specialist can discuss these options in more detail with you depending on your individual situation.
What Is the Prognosis for People With Throat Cancer?
The prognosis for those with throat cancer varies widely, and depends on the type, location, and stage of the tumor.
It is important to seek a professional medical opinion as soon as possible in order to determine the best course of treatment and maximize your chances of successful recovery.
Early detection is key in improving outcomes when it comes to throat cancer. Your doctor can advise you further on what they expect your prognosis to be based on your individual situation.
How To Lower Your Risk Of Developing Throat Cancer
Throat cancer can be a scary diagnosis, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. They include:
Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Smoking is one of the primary risk factors for developing throat cancer.
Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke contain many different carcinogens that can damage your throat over time. If you’ re currently a smoker, quitting is the single most effective way to reduce your risk of becoming sick with throat cancer.
Avoiding secondhand smoke is also important, so make sure to stay away from others who smoke.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Throat cancer is also linked to excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking too much can damage the tissues of your throat, leading to an increased risk of the disease.
It’ s important to keep track of your alcohol intake and be aware of how much you drink. Women should limit their drinking to no more than one drink per day, while men should not consume more than two drinks per day.
Get Vaccinated for Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that causes certain types of cancer, including throat cancer. Getting vaccinated against HPV can lower your chances of developing throat cancer.
Vaccines are available for both children and adults. Talk to your doctor about whether you should get the vaccine and when you should get it.
Have Regular Oral Cancer Screenings
Mouth and throat cancer screening exams can help detect signs of cancer at an early stage. Early detection can improve the chances for successful treatment and outcomes.
Having regular screenings with your doctor or dentist are important for early detection. The American Dental Association recommends everyone aged 18 and older should have a clinical oral examination once a year.
Practice Healthy Habits to Boost Your Immune System
Practicing healthy habits like eating a balanced diet, getting adequate rest, exercising regularly and avoiding alcohol will help boost your immune system and lower your risk of throat cancer.
Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can help provide essential vitamins to support the immune system.
It’ s also important to avoid cigarette smoking and exposing yourself to secondhand smoke since tobacco smoke increases the risk of several types of oral cancers.
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John Lawe has been with Trendohealthtips.com for Four years and an active contributor for two years now. Lawe is a Professional Pharmacist with excellent understanding of the product formulation, the science behind diet pills and the supplement industry.