Cancer is an umbrella term used for or a wide range of malignancies affecting different parts of the body. It is marked by abnormal and uncontrollable cell multiplication that eventually results in the formation of a mass or lump called tumour. Cancer is usually named after the primary site of origin i.e., cancer that originates in the lungs is known as lung cancer and the one that starts in the liver is known as liver cancer. Similarly, cancer that develops in the various parts of the throat like the voice box, vocal cords, tonsils and oropharynx, is known as throat cancer. Doctors specialising in neck cancer treatment in Pune group throat cancer into the following two categories:
- Pharyngeal cancer - The cancer originates in the pharynx, i.e., the hollow tube that connects the back of the nose to the windpipe. Some common types of pharyngeal cancer include nasopharynx cancer, oropharynx cancer and hypopharynx cancer.
- Laryngeal cancer - The cancer originates in the larynx, which is commonly referred to as the voice box.
Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common types of throat cancer that originates from the flat cells that line the inner side of the throat. On the other hand, Adenocarcinoma is the rarest type of throat cancer.
Although throat cancer is not as common as other different forms of cancer, the condition is quite aggressive and cannot be taken for granted. The condition can be effectively treated if diagnosed in the early stages. Experts from the leading cancer hospital in Mumbai believe in curating personalized treatment plans based on the overall assessment and evaluation of the patient.
Signs and symptoms that might indicate the prevalence of throat cancer:
It is important to understand that any malignancy takes some time to show its traces and sometimes we fail to recognise the signs and symptoms even when they are right in front of us. This is mostly due to the lack of proper knowledge. As mentioned earlier, throat cancer can be effectively treated with early intervention. This is possible only if you recognise the symptoms and go for proper assessment and diagnosis. Here are a few symptoms that call for the need for detailed medical intervention:
- Unexplained change in your voice often accompanied by hoarseness are ringing sound
- Inability to swallow food properly or facing difficulty while doing so
- Unintended loss of weight
- Soreness in the throat
- Persistent cough
- Coughing out blood
- Swelling in the lymph nodes
- Pain and discomfort in the ear
Although experiencing these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have throat cancer, it is better to get yourself evaluated.
What causes throat cancer?
It can be quite hard to determine the exact cause of throat cancer but it is believed to be a result of abnormal mutations in the DNA of the cells present in the throat. These mutations force the cells to multiply and grow uncontrollably and gradually spread to other parts of the body as well. Search DNA mutations can be triggered by many factors that include:
- Excessive smoking and substance abuse
- High alcohol intake
- Poor appetite
- Exposure to toxic substances like asbestos
- Poor dental hygiene
- Genetic problems
You will be surprised to know that throat cancer is also associated with HPV for human papillomavirus, which is a sexually transmitted disease. Some studies have shown that patients diagnosed with throat cancer might also present with malignancy in their oesophagus, lungs or bladder, at the same time. Hence it is very important to go for a detailed overall health evaluation. With various cutting-edge diagnostic and cancer treatment modalities available nowadays, it has become much easier to address various malignancies, including throat cancer.