How fatal is Throat Cancer?
Cancer is a fatal disease in which abnormal cells multiply and divide in an uncontrolled manner. These abnormal cells form malignant tissues called tumors that threaten lives. There are over 200 types of tumors present. One of them is throat cancer. It refers to the cancer of vocal cords and other parts of the throat. Other parts may include organs with which you speak, swallow or breathe. Half of cancer starts in the pharynx, which is the tube that starts behind the nose, while others may occur in the larynx which is also called the voice box.
There are two types in which throat cancer can spread:
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: It is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in squamous cells. It occurs in the flat-lining of the throat and is the second most common cancer diagnosed in The United States.
Adenocarcinoma: It generally occurs in the cells of the glands present in the throat. They also form in the esophagus.
The complication of this cancer tends to grow more rapidly. This is the reason why it is important to treat it as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Throat Cancer:
There are some signs that show whether a person has throat cancer or not:
- Weight Loss
- Change in voice
- Swallowing Problem
- Ear Pain
What is the risk factors and causes regarding Cancer?
It has been found that men have been more vulnerable to throat cancer as compared to women. It may also be due to different lifestyles like:
- Alcohol Consumption
- Tobacco Eating
- Poor Dental Hygiene
People who have throat cancer are most likely prone to other cancer like lung cancer, esophageal cancer, bladder cancer etc. This is because the cells that developed throat cancer may also travel to other parts of the body causing other cancer as well.
How to detect throat cancer?
To detect the cancerous cells in the throat, the doctor must be told all the changes that you are experiencing in your body. He will ask all about your medical history. If you have been getting some signs of constant cough, hoarseness, sore throat, this means you are most likely to develop throat cancer. In that case, there are various tests that are conducted to detect throat cancer and at what stage it has reached.
- Biopsy: In this, the sample of tissues is collected and observed under the microscope to find cancer cells. With this way, you will surely find out that whether the tumor formed is cancerous or not. This could be performed with the help of many things like needles or endoscope which is a process in which there is a tube fitted with a camera that will be lowered into the throat or mouth. The tool will properly perform the biopsy.
There is another test called imaging test which is also helpful in diagnosing throat cancer. It helps find the tumor and its size. It can be done by taking MRI scan, X-Ray etc.
What are the stages of Throat Cancer?
Each stage explains the severity of cancer that how much the dangerous cells have spread into the body. Generally, Stage 1 and Stage 2 are not that severe but when the stage reaches Stage 3 may have started spreading to other parts and stage 4 has spread to distant organs of the body.
What are the treatments?
There are various treatments that are carried out by doctors to cure throat cancer. They may try to get rid of the cancerous tumors by carrying out these treatments. But that only depends on various factors:
- The stage of Cancer.
- Where actually in the cancer
- General Health
The treatments are:
Radiation: In this method, a high beam of energy radiations are emitted from the machine to kill cancerous cells. They could also be used for the early stage cancer.
Surgery: It could be done with a tube called endoscope and kill the cells of cancer. If cancer has spread to your voice box, then it is removed via surgery and the windpipe is attached to an opening in your neck. In different ways, cancer could be treated with the help of surgery.
Chemotherapy: Cancer is treated with the drugs that kill the cancerous cells and stop them from spreading. This treatment is also used to shrink a tumor, or keep the cells from growing more.
After the treatment, you need to make sure to regularly visit your doctor and keep him updated on the progress. If you are facing any kind of inconvenience, make him informed about it. Quit your consumption of alcohol and smoke.