Throat Cancer Refers To Cancer In The Pharynx Or Larynx
Throat cancer is a general term. Specific throat cancer types are based on the part where it originated. For instance, nasopharyngeal cancer originates in the nasopharynx. If it begins in the vocal cords, it is identified as glottic cancer. Hypopharyngeal cancer is one that begins in the lower part of the throat.
Pharynx, aka the throat, is the tube that leads to the esophagus and larynx. It is the passageway through which we swallow. It has three sections: the nasopharynx (behind the nose), oropharynx (tonsil, soft palate, and base of the tongue) and hypopharynx (the bottom section between pharynx and larynx).
The larynx is also known as the voice box. This is where you’ll find the vocal cords. It is crucial to breathing and speaking. Its three major parts are glottis, supraglottis, and subglottis.
What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Throat Cancer?
A sore throat that won’t go away can be a sign of throat cancer at an early stage. Other symptoms of throat cancer in women and men include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Changes in your voice including hoarseness
- Sudden weight loss
- Ear pain
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
Throat cancer is more common among men. Other factors that increase a person’s risk are:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Poor nutrition and dental hygiene
- Exposure to asbestos or sulfuric acid fumes
- Genetic factors
Human papilloma virus or HPV can also cause throat cancer. HPV-related throat cancer accounts for about 70% of oropharyngeal cancers.
HPV-Related Cancers Moon Shot® is a program that seeks to understand further the biology and immune environment of all HPV-related cancer types. The goal is to develop new therapies that can improve standards of care and outcomes.
What Are The Stages Of Throat Cancer?
Once cancer cells are found in the throat, the doctor will request further tests to determine the stage of cancer.
- Stage 0 means the tumor is on the top layer of the cells of the infected part.
- Stage 1 means the tumor is no more than 2 cm. It has not spread beyond the part of the throat where it originated.
- Stage 2 means the tumor is up to 4 cm. It also means that it may have spread to a nearby part of the body.
- Stage 3 throat cancer means the tumor has exceeded 4 cm in size. It has spread to other parts of the throat or a lymph node.
- Stage 4 throat cancer means the cancerous cells have spread to lymph nodes and other organs.
Understanding how throat cancer is diagnosed is a crucial step to treatment. The doctor will perform a laryngoscopy to check for abnormalities. This can be followed by a biopsy to confirm if there is cancer.
Conventional treatment for throat cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. While they can be effective, these therapies also take their toll on the patient’s body. A clinical trial can be an option for patients whose cancer has recurred.
The prognosis for this type of cancer will depend on how far cancer has spread as well as the patient’s age and health condition.
The five-year survival rate for throat cancer can depend on where the cancer is located. For most throat cancer types at an advanced stage, this is at around 39%.
For patients, counseling is a good way to help manage the emotional impact of this disease. For some survivors, regaining normal speech capabilities can become difficult after treatment. It is also important to know how to help a patient with speaking challenges. This can be as simple as being considerate and not making them feel different.
Why Choose The LifeCo Clinic For Throat Cancer Care?
A treatment plan at The LifeCo Clinic includes botanically based and non-toxic therapies based on integrative oncology. We do not go to war against cancer cells because the patient also suffers. Instead, we focus on a holistic approach. Our therapies target cancer while also empowering patients with long-term health.
Staying positive during your throat cancer journey can be a challenge. We can help you. Get in touch now for a consultation.