Patients with throat cancer suffer from tumors in the tonsils and other parts of the throat. The disease results in the growth of abnormal cells, leading to symptoms like a sore throat and a hoarse voice. It is essential to identify these early warning signs of throat cancer so that it can be treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. This article discusses the signs, causes, and treatment of throat cancer more closely.
- Prolonged throat ache: Those with throat cancer will often experience discomfort in the throat that doesn’t go away easily. It can cause a burning sensation, making it difficult to swallow food.
- Lump in the throat: One may notice a hard lump in the throat caused by a swollen lymph node. If this lump grows larger, it can be a sign of throat cancer.
- Hoarse voice: One’s voice gets altered due to the changes in the throat. It can turn husky or hoarse. One may also find it tough to pronounce some words.
- Weight loss: With symptoms like throat ache, it becomes difficult to eat. This may also lead to a loss of appetite, resulting in weight loss.
- Ear pain: Throat cancer can cause the ears to ache, making it difficult for the patient to hear.
- Congestion: The cancer can obstruct the nasal tract, making one feel like it is always blocked. This persistent condition could be a possible sign of throat cancer.
A genetic mutation in the throat can create favorable conditions for a cancerous tumor to grow. It induces abnormal cells to multiply and form the tumor. The cause of the genetic mutation is unclear. However, smoking and alcohol abuse are prominent risk factors. Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, have more chances of developing throat cancer.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is used in the early stages of throat cancer. It involves using intense beams to kill the tumor. This treatment can also be sought when someone experiences recurring throat cancer.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is suggested as a possible treatment for patients in later stages of throat cancer. It aims to destroy the tumor cells that have spread in the body.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy boosts one’s immune system to detect and kill abnormal cells. It is used when the body cannot fight cancer with chemotherapy or surgery.
- Chemoradiation: As the name suggests, this treatment is a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. When used together, they can avoid the need for surgery. It is often used to treat laryngeal cancer.
Other treatments for throat cancer include surgery and targeted therapy. As these treatments may have side effects, it is essential to consult the doctor for possible complications beforehand.