Throat cancer is a disease that affects the pharynx (throat), larynx, or tonsils and is caused by the development of malignant tumors, most often in the mucosal lining of the throat. The National Cancer Institute reports that over 30,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with head, neck, or throat cancer annually, and knowing how throat cancer is diagnosed can potentially help with looking for symptoms and treatment options.
The cartilage of the epiglottis, which covers the trachea, can potentially become cancerous and cause breathing problems if it is not removed by a medical professional. The throat is a tube-shaped muscle that extends from the back of the nasal cavity to the base of the neck.
When caught in its earliest stages, throat cancer treatment can be the most amenable.
Causes of Throat Cancer
Smoking is the main cause of throat cancer. Long-term tobacco use is associated with an elevated chance of developing throat cancer and other respiratory cancer types. Consuming more than two drinks of alcohol daily increases the likelihood of acquiring this cancer.
Compared to people who use tobacco or alcohol alone, dual users face a greater danger. One of the leading causes of throat, tongue, and tonsil cancer is the human papillomavirus.
Throat Cancer Risk Factors
Cancer of the oropharynx, the muscular tube in the center of the throat that governs swallowing, is the most frequent kind of throat cancer, though it can affect other parts of the head and neck. The throat is an intricate mechanism that helps us breathe, swallow, communicate, and detect flavors and odors. Tonsils, the back of the tongue, the soft palate, and the floor of the mouth are all potential sites of cancer in this area of the body.
Though most cases of throat cancer types occur in persons over the age of 50, it is not unprecedented for HPV-related malignancies to strike younger people. Cancers not caused by human papillomavirus are more common in adults over 60, and males continue to have a greater risk than women. Throat cancers caused by HPV infection are also more common in men.
Squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the epithelium of the throat’s outer layer, is the most frequent cancer in these regions. Slowly but surely, it can spread to more dangerous places, including muscle, fat, and bone.
In addition to smoking and drinking, poor diet and dental neglect can further increase the likelihood of developing throat cancer. People whose immune systems have been weakened by sickness, radiation, or medicine are also at a slightly increased risk.
In addition, having more than five oral sex partners in one’s lifetime has been linked to a higher risk of developing throat cancer. Those who have six or more partners in their lifetimes are at risk five times higher than the general population.
Keep in mind that vaping is not a healthy alternative to smoking. Nicotine and diacetyl, included in electronic cigarettes, have been related to lung illness. Tobacco and electronic cigarettes should both be avoided.
The chance of developing throat cancer is further heightened by exposure to substances like asbestos. This form of cancer is more common in males than in women. An increased chance of acquiring throat cancer may be attributed to a family history of the disease, so knowing whether someone in your immediate family has had it is crucial.
What Are the Signs of Throat Cancer?
Signs and symptoms of throat cancer are similar to those of allergies, common colds, and sinus infections. If a proper diagnosis is to be made, a biopsy may be required, thus, it’s important to consult with a physician with plenty of experience making such calls. Below are some signs that can act as indicators of throat cancer.
1. Voice Changes
Hoarseness can have several reasons, and most of those causes are not malignant. However, a thorough assessment should be scheduled if you have experienced ongoing issues with your larynx and voice.
2. Presence of a Mass on Your Neck
Neck masses are not always malignant; dental infections, strep throat, and goiters are among the potential causes. The symptoms can be alleviated by seeing an ear, nose, and throat specialist, who can diagnose the underlying problem and recommend a course of treatment for throat cancer.
3. Experiencing a Sore Throat
Several less serious illnesses are much more prevalent causes of a sore throat than cancer of the throat itself. However, if you’ve had a sore throat for more than a few days and it hasn’t improved with medication, you should see a doctor.
4. Swallowing Difficulties
Clinically, this condition is known as dysphagia. You can feel like something is trapped in your throat even when nothing is.
The condition often worsens over time, making it difficult to consume solid meals. If you have difficulty swallowing, it is important to tell your doctor.
5. Sudden Weight Loss
Losing weight, especially if it’s ten pounds or more, without adjusting your diet or exercise routine might indicate cancerous cells in your throat. Because so many illnesses may present similar symptoms, you must consult a medical professional as soon as possible to get to the bottom of your health issues.
It’s worth noting that most of these symptoms can also be caused by illnesses that aren’t malignant, such as a common cold or a sinus infection.
Treatment for Throat Cancer
Below are some treatment options for throat cancer.
- Chemotherapy- Chemotherapy is a method of treating cancer by using medications that target and destroy cancerous cells. You may either inject or ingest these medications for proper throat cancer treatment.
How Can You Prevent Throat Cancer?
Although there is currently no foolproof method for avoiding throat cancer, you can lessen your chances of developing the disease by:
1. Early Screening
The therapy for throat cancer may significantly impact the quality of life. It may change a person’s physical appearance and ability to breathe, talk, eat, and swallow. These complications are less likely to occur if the condition is diagnosed and treated early.
Throat cancer is particularly dangerous because it can spread rapidly if not treated quickly. If caught early enough, throat cancer is usually treatable, but if left unchecked, it can rapidly worsen in only a few months. They will almost certainly worsen if not addressed by healthcare professionals.
2. Always Remain Vigilant
Prevention is the strongest line of defense against throat cancer, which is seldom detected until symptoms arise. An HPV vaccine, not smoking, drinking in moderation, using condoms, and limiting the number of partners with whom you engage in oral sex are all preventative measures that may help reduce your risk.
It is recommended that everyone get semiannual dental checkups and annual visits to their family doctor. Dentists are experts at spotting problems in their early stages, and bad oral hygiene is a recognized risk factor.
Self-examinations may be helpful since many patients find abnormal growths on their own. Pay attention to the neck and report any new or odd lumps or bumps. Examine your mouth thoroughly with a mirror once a month to check for new growths or sores. In case you have these or any other symptoms, please see a doctor.
How Immunity Therapy Center Can Help You
Each patient at the Immunity Therapy Center receives a unique treatment plan that draws on a wide range of therapeutic modalities. Your present mental and physical health and the specifics of your diagnosis and medical history will all play a role in determining the best course of action for your therapy.
Patients at the Immunity Therapy Center are more than just numbers on a page. Involvement on your part is crucial to the effectiveness of your therapy for throat cancer. Those kinds of admiration and kindness are just what you deserve.
We want you to know what alternative treatments you’re getting and why. We promise to do all in our power to make you feel at ease and answer all your concerns while you undergo treatment for throat cancer at our facility. We are concerned with curing your throat cancer and restoring your health and well-being during this trying period.
If you’re ready to get started immediately, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Written By: Dr. Pablo Orozco
Dr. Pablo Orozco is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.
Dr. Orozco has been a treating physician at the Immunity Therapy Center for more than 3 years providing daily on site patient care. He works with patients on a daily basis and guides them through the treatment process. Dr. Orozco’s passion for Alternative Cancer Treatments along with his commitment to patient care is key to insure that our patients have the best experience and results possible.
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.