Throat cancer is one the fastest growing cancer in this modern world 10 in 10,0000 people in India is suffering from cancer. The cause could be attributed to the change in lifestyle of people and the rise in various addictions and recreational drug abuse.
The throat is the present back of our Oral cavity or Mouth and it extends down to the whole of the neck where it merges into our esophagus or Food pipe. The early signs of cancer are usually vague and they’re most often ignored.
What are the Early Signs?
- Throat Irritation
- Throat Pain
- Neck swelling
- Foreign body sensation/ Food sticking to the throat
- Dysphagia (Difficulty in swallowing)
- Odynophagia (Painful swallowing)
- Hoarseness (Heaviness or Change in Voice)
- Ear Ache (referred PAIN)
- Chronic Cough (due to nerve involvement Chronic Aspiration in LUNG causes cough)
- Noisy Breathing/ Difficulty in breathing
These might be the early signs for which medications might lead to some relief but they’re recurrent and persistent. These signs if persists then warning bells should be ringing and a person should consult a doctor.
What are the cardinal signs of throat cancer?
- Ear Ache
- Stridor (Difficulty in breathing)
- Neck Swelling
- Swelling elsewhere in the body
- Joint Pain
- Sudden change in vision
These are a sign of Distant Metastasis. So a high index of suspicion has to be maintained for ruling out metastasis.
When you feel persistent symptoms then Doctor’s opinion is mandatory.
What investigation would be advised?
- Fibro-Optic Laryngoscopy
- Contrast-Enhanced CT Scan
- Upper GI Endoscopy
- FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology)
- Biopsy of Mass or Growth
- PET-CT Scan for assessment of Cancer spread
- Complete Blood Investigations
What are Risk factors for Throat Cancer?
- Alcohol Intake (Synchronous use of Alcohol+ Smoking increases the risk of Cancer)
- Radiation exposure
- Asbestos exposure
- HPV 16 infection
- GERD (Gastro Esophageal reflux Disease)
- Family History
- Gender: Male (nowadays Female Gender is also on a rise)
- Urban areas > Rural sectors
Throat Cancers have a good prognosis in early stages, cancers spread very fast so, early treatment is imperative. Treatment for cancers is available in many Government and Private institutes with good facilities so if you feel any of the above-stated signs are present then get yourself checked. The main point in the treatment of any disease is to never give up hope and be positive.
We can’t control everything in life but we can modify our lifestyle and habits. Avoid the risk factors and have a Better Life.
Stay tuned for more regarding the treatment of cancer.
Be Fit & Be Happy.
Disclaimer: This article is for reference purposes only, under no circumstances it should be used as a replacement of medical opinion by Professionals. Any decision regarding health and health care should be taken after professional advice only. Health care advice and information shared by the author are best to her knowledge. We disclaim all responsibilities for any inadvertent omission/ commission by the author or the website.
- Scott & Brown
- Stell Maran