What is Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer involves cancer of the part of your throat just behind your mouth. Throat cancer is usually painless in their early stages or may have minor symptoms.
Cancer affects the body’s basic unit, the cell. Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and keep dividing and forming more cells without control or order.
What Causes Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer appears to occur as a result of damage to the DNA in the cells in your mouth and throat. Using tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption can damage these tissues. The combination of smoking or chewing tobacco and excessive drinking creates a much higher risk of oral and throat cancer. Even Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light also can cause damages Damage to cells may cause them to malfunction and mutate into cancer cells.
Symptoms of Throat Cancer
There are some common symptoms of throat cancer can be listed as follows:
- Thickening of your cheek
- A sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal
- Neck pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling in the neck
- Weight loss
- Changes in your voice
- Coughing up blood
- Pain around your teeth, or loosening of your teeth
- Bad breath
- Numbness of your tongue or elsewhere in your mouth
Most throat cancers arise on the lips, tongue or on the floor of the mouth. They also may occur inside your cheeks, on your gums or on the roof of your mouth.
How is Throat Cancer Diagnosed?
Diagnose usually involves you and your dentist in discussion and performing some examination of your mouth. To help in determination whether the abnormal feelings that are appearing are cancerous, the doctor will take the small sample of tissue to examine it thoroughly.
Throat cancers are of the squamous cell type. They are firm and flat, and they form the lining of oral cavity and upper throat as well as the surface of your skin. As the squamous cell progress they invade deeper and may spread to your lymph nodes as well as the other part of the body.
Throat Cancer Treatment Options
There are treatment options available for throat cancer and depends upon the stage, and the type of cancer. If cancer is in more advanced stages, doctors use surgery combined with radiation and chemotherapy
Surgery – The surgery depends on the size and location of the tumour. Doctors can surgically remove the tumours that haven’t grown and if the tumour has invaded nearby tissues, the operation is more extensive.
Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy uses x-rays to destroy cancer cells. The treatment may used alone to treat small tumours or may be the combination of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. You take these drugs either through your veins or through your mouth.
Complications of Throat Cancer
The common complications of throat cancer include:
- Loss of voice and speaking ability
- Disfigurement of the neck or face
- Hardening of the skin of the neck
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Spread of the cancer to other parts of the body
Can Throat Cancer be prevented?
Following options can help prevent throat cancer or its progression:
- Limit exposure to the sun
- Visit your dentist twice a year – Most dentists perform a thorough examination of your mouth during each visit. The dentist will conduct a direct as well as indirect observation of all the tissues inside your mouth.
- At least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.