Everything About Throat Cancer – Symptoms, Types and Treatment
Throat cancer is a broad term that refers to all types of cancer occurring in the throat or pharynx, voice box or larynx, and the tonsils. In medical terminology, the throat begins at the very back of the nose and ends at the neck. Since the voice box is so near it is also regarded as a part of throat cancer.
Throat cancer may also affect the epiglottis, the flap of tissue sitting atop the larynx and functions to prevent food and liquids from entering the trachea. Throat cancer also affects the tonsils.
Symptoms of Throat Cancer
Weight loss is caused by difficulty swallowing. Since most patients lose their appetite when swallowing becomes painful, it is only natural for them to start dropping weight.
Since many of these symptoms are also common in other diseases, they may not be an immediate sign of cancer. However, it is important to get a diagnosis to be sure and to achieve early detection, the important element for successful treatment.
Types of Throat Cancer
Throat cancer is a very broad term and there are many affected parts of the throat when cancer begins to grow. The cancer cells that accumulate are relatively of the same type which is why the different types of cancer are categorized according to the location they originated:
Risk Factors of Throat Cancer
Tobacco use, alcohol use, HPV or human papillomavirus, and a poor diet may increase the risk of developing or advancing the stages of throat cancer.
Fortunately there are several options to treat throat cancer and some are taken in tandem. The main treatment options of throat cancer are:
Rehabilitation after surgery
Chemotherapy is also conducted prior to surgery to reduce the cancer cells and make the surgical area much smaller. It is done afterwards, along with targeted therapy, to prevent re-occurrence of the cancer.
Rehabilitation deals with recovery after the surgery and ensures that the patient may return to a normal lifestyle if possible. It also helps patients with permanent damage such as the loss of their voice box or when surgery is no longer possible.
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