Throat Cancer- What is it & How to cure?

First Lets talk about What is Throat Cancer?

If you imagine the head and neck to involve two conduits or passages, one that allows food to enter the body and the other that allows for breathing and production of voice, you can then imagine cancer can occur at any point in either of those two conduits, for example,

  • Inside  the mouth,
  • Inside the gullet,
  • or inside the voice box.

There are other structures in the neck as well—lymph nodes, the thyroid gland and saliva glands. So cancer can occur in any of these parts.

There are over 11,000 new cases of head and neck cancer diagnosed in the India every year. The vast majority of them occur inside the voice box or inside the larynx. They tend to be more common in men, almost twice as common in women and also it occurs at the age of 65 or above. Sometime it may occur soon.

Unfortunately, over the last few years, the case of head and neck cancer has been increasing. That’s partly because we’re picking up cancers in a much earlier stage. It’s predicted that the incidence may fall particularly for voice box cancers.

The biggest risk factor for head-neck cancer by far is smoking tobacco. High alcohol consumption also increases your risk of developing throat cancer but not as much. Interestingly, those who smoke and drink develop a multiplier effect and they are at higher risk.

throat cancer symptoms

Some other causes of throat cancer :

  1. HPV infection: That’s the human papillomavirus. It’s thought that over 50% of tonsil cancers are related to HPV infections. Because the term throat cancer encompasses a number of different diagnoses, there also a number of different symptoms to be aware of.
  2. Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing: particularly if this is getting worse over a period of time. Do concern to your doctor if you are facing this issue over a long period of time.
  3. An unexplained neck lump: A sudden neck lump that has lasted for more than two or three weeks or even a month and is not connected to any other obvious infection or sore throat, then that is something to be concerned about.
  4. There are some other causes also but these are the important ones to remember: Firstly, be aware of the symptoms, the red flag symptoms that can occur in head and neck cancer, If you’re worried, seek attention particularly if you’re in the high-risk group and by that what I mean is if you’re perhaps over 40, are a smoker, and you drink. If you are worried, insist on seeing a specialist.

How to cure Throat Cancer?

During this examination, it’s important to examine all the different subsites of the head and neck to ensure that cancer isn’t missed in any of these areas.  The doctor asks you all about your history this is because to check each and important fact regarding that lump.

throat cancer treatment

A proper case study is to be done before taking any step.

There are various method to stop growing cancer cell but out of all, Chemotherapy is the effective one. It stops the growth of cancer cell and starts the repair of your body tissue.

Sometimes, if cancer is in the voice box, the whole voice box is removed from the patient body with the help of a surgery.

Cancer could be of many types depending upon where they occur. If the occurrence of cancer can be known at the very first then it becomes very easy to cure it. Cancer becomes too hard to treat after a certain stage because at that stage cancer cell grows very rapidly and they may reach to other organs as well.
Chemotherapy which is the best suitable treatment for cancer is helping to prevent the growth of cancer cell but on the other hand, it has its own side effect.

Side effects of Chemotherapy:

The drugs which used in chemotherapy cannot differentiate the cancer cell and normal healthy cell in our body. So they kill many healthy cells as well, which is a concern in itself.
So the patient who had undergone such chemotherapy. They have the following side effect.
1. The weakening of the immune system.
2. Loss of hair.
3. Loss of appetite.
4. Nausea
5. Mouth sore.
6. Skin and nails problem
Doctors advice such patient to drink plenty of water so that their mouth and throat could not have sore. Eating proper vitamin diet is also adviced by the doctors.
On the other hand, there is another way to treat this disease if it has detected at the very initial stage. Another way is radiation therapy.
The therapy uses radiation of appropriate wavelength to destroy the cancer cell.
Radiation damages the cancer cell DNA and hence stops the growth of cancer cell.
Radiation does not damage the cancer cell in one go, it takes some time and therapy for the same. Once the cancer cell deads, the body throws out the damaged cell. In this way, radiation therapy works and shrinks the size of cancer tumor.
In general, there are two main types of radiation therapy. Depending upon the type of cancer, it’s size, location, how close it is to other sensitive tissues. Radiation therapy is of two types, External beam radiation, and internal radiation therapy.
1. External beam radiation therapy:
In this therapy, the radiation is only aimed at a specific body part which is affected by cancer.
Only that part is exposed to radiation, not the whole body.
2. Internal radiation therapy:
It is a radiation treatment in which the source of radiation is kept inside our body near the cancer tumor.
The radiation source can be solid or liquid.
Internal radiation therapy with a solid source is known as Brachytherapy. In this treatment capsule is located near the cancer tumor and radiate some energy, this energy is used to damage the DNA of the cancer cell.
Brachytherapy is very often used to treat cancer of the head, neck, eye, etc.
Radioactive iodine or I-31 is used to treat thyroid cancer.
Targeted radio nuclei therapy is used to treat advanced-stage prostate cancer.

Side effects of Radiotherapy:

Radiotherapy has some side effect.  This side effect depends upon the part of the body that is being treated.

For instance, if brain cancer is being treated with radiotherapy then there may be symptoms of hair loss, fatigue, nausea, vomiting.
Some people can work full time during the therapy and some do part-time. How much you can work is dependent upon your body condition and how you feel, if you are comfortable enough to do full-time work so it’s possible.
At last, I urge you all to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Have proper vitamin intake that is very necessary for our body functioning and we should take a pledge to not smoke tobacco.
Here are some other informative articles I have published.



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