Medicaoncology Throat Cancer

What is Throat Cancer?

Cancer of the throat (pharynx) or voice box is referred to as throat cancer (larynx). The muscular tube that runs from behind your nose to your neck is your throat. The flat cells that line the inside of your throat are where most throat cancers start. Your voice box, which is located right below your throat, is also vulnerable to throat cancer. The vocal cords vibrate to generate sound when you speak, and the voice box is comprised of cartilage.

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    Types

    Throat cancer refers to cancer that starts in the throat (pharyngeal cancer) or in the voice box (vocal cancer) (laryngeal cancer). Every year, 1 million new patients are diagnosed with head and neck cancer in India.Despite the fact that most throat cancers involve the same types of cells, particular terminology is used to distinguish the location of the cancer in the neck.

    Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

    The nasopharynx is the area of your throat directly behind your nose. That is where nasopharyngeal cancer develops.

    Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

    The oropharynx, which comprises your tonsils and is located just behind your mouth, is where oropharyngeal cancer develops.

    Hypopharyngeal Cancer

    The hypopharynx (laryngopharynx) is the lower portion of your throat, immediately above your esophagus and windpipe. That is where hypopharyngeal cancer (laryngopharyngeal cancer) develops.

    Glottic Carcinoma

    The voice chords are where glottic cancer develops.

    Supraglottic Carcinoma

    Supraglottic cancer starts in the top part of the voice box and involves cancer of the epiglottis, a piece of cartilage that prevents food from entering the windpipe.

    Subglottic Carcinoma

    This is a type of cancer that starts in the bottom part of your voice box, beneath your vocal cords.

    Symptoms

    The most common signs of throat cancer are:

    • Persistent cough
    • Changes in your voice, such as hoarseness or a lack of clarity in your speech
    • Swallowing problems
    • Earache
    • A lump or a sore that won’t go away
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of weight
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    Causes

    Throat cancer is caused by genetic abnormalities in the cells of your throat. These mutations cause uncontrollable cell growth and the survival of cells that would otherwise die. In your throat, the collecting cells can develop a tumor. The cause of the mutation that causes throat cancer is unknown. However, doctors have discovered certain characteristics that may raise your risk.

    Other Risk Factors

    • Tobacco use, which includes smoking and chewing.
    • Excessive alcohol consumption.
    • Infections with viruses such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the Epstein-Barr virus.
    • A diet that is devoid of fruits and vegetables.
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a type of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
    • Toxic substance exposure at work.
    Stages

    Oral cancer is divided into four stages.

    Stage 0:This is the very beginning of the scale, also known as carcinoma in situ. It refers to aberrant cells in the throat lining that have the potential to turn cancerous.

    Stage I: The term “stage I” refers to a very early stage of cancer. The tumor is only two millimeters in diameter, and the cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes.

    Stage II: A tumor that is greater than two centimeters but not more than four centimeters is classified as Stage II. The lymph nodes have not been affected by stage II malignancy.

    Stage III: Cancer that is greater than four centimeters in diameter or has progressed to a lymph node on the same side of the neck as the tumor is classified as stage III throat cancer. That lymph node is also under three millimeters in diameter.

    Stage IV: The most advanced stage of throat cancer is Stage IV. The tumor could be any size, but it has expanded to the following areas:

    • Tissue in the immediate vicinity, such as the neck, trachea, thyroid, esophagus, jaw, mouth, or other areas.
    • One large lymph node (more than three centimeters in diameter) on the same side of the neck as the tumor, many lymph nodes of any size on the same side of the neck as the tumor, or one lymph node of any size on the opposite side of the neck as the tumor.
    • Body parts that are not near the mouth, such as the lungs.
    Diagnosis

    Your doctor may suggest the following tests to diagnose throat cancer:

    Physical Examination: Using a scope to examine your throat more closely. During an endoscopic procedure, your doctor may use a special lit scope (endoscope) to have a close look at your throat. The endoscope’s camera sends images to a television screen, where your doctor looks for symptoms of abnormalities in your throat.

    In your voice box, a different sort of scope (laryngoscope) can be introduced. Your doctor can inspect your voice cords with the use of a magnification lens. Laryngoscopy is the name for this procedure.

    Biopsy: If abnormalities are discovered during an endoscopy or laryngoscopy, your doctor can collect tissue samples using surgical instruments passed via the scope (biopsy). For testing, the sample is transported to a laboratory.

    Imaging Tests: Computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) are examples of imaging tests that can assist your doctor assess the extent of your malignancy beyond the surface of your neck or voice box.

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    Treatment

    The location and stage of your throat cancer, the type of cells involved, whether the cells exhibit evidence of HPV infection, your overall health, and your personal preferences all influence your treatment options.

    Surgery: The surgical techniques you might consider for treating throat cancer are determined on the location and stage of your malignancy.

    Chemotherapy: In the treatment of throat malignancies, chemotherapy is frequently combined with radiation therapy. Certain chemotherapy medications increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to radiation therapy. However, combining chemotherapy and radiation therapy increases both treatments’ negative effects.

    Targeted Therapy: Targeted medication treatments are designed to target specific abnormalities found in cancer cells. Targeted medication treatments can kill cancer cells by inhibiting these aberrations.

    Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy may be the only therapeutic option for tiny throat tumours or tumours that haven’t progressed to the lymph nodes. Radiation therapy may be coupled with chemotherapy or surgery for more advanced throat malignancies. Radiation therapy may be used to lessen signs and symptoms and make you more comfortable if you have a severely advanced throat cancer.

    Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is often reserved for those with advanced throat cancer who have failed to respond to traditional treatments.

    Palliative Care: Our team of skilled doctors, nurses, and other specially qualified professionals provide palliative care. Palliative care teams are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. This type of treatment is provided in addition to any curative or other treatments you may be getting.

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