Cancer is perhaps one of the most anxiety-provoking diseases out there. It involves the multiplication and division of abnormal cells that work within the body at an uncontrollable level. These abnormal cells typically damage healthy cells and form malignant growths that are frequently known as “tumors”. In cases of throat cancer, the tumors in question may grow around the vocal cords, voice box, and other areas within the throat such as the oropharynx and tonsils.
In most circumstances, the first signs of throat cancer that you will notice will depend on the type that you have. Most throat cancers can be divided into two categories: laryngeal cancer which forms around the voice box or larynx, and pharyngeal cancer which forms around the pharynx, the tube that runs to the top of your windpipe from behind your nose.
Symptoms to Look For:
The first signs of throat cancer can be difficult to recognize because early stage cancer often does not give rise to many symptoms. What’s more, it’s worth noting that the first signs of throat cancer can change depending on the individual involved. However, there are a few symptoms to watch for, such as: trouble with swallowing, a change in voice, persistent coughs and sore throats, swollen neck lymph nodes, ear pain, wheezing and hoarseness.
If you find yourself suffering with any of the above symptoms, do not jump to conclusions. These symptoms can also apply to a wide range of other illnesses. Simply make an appointment with your doctor at your earliest possible convenience to discuss the symptoms and the possibility of further tests.
Diagnosing from the First Signs of Throat Cancer:
During your doctor’s appointment, you’ll be asked about your medical history and your symptoms. It’s important to make sure that you are prepared with all of the information you need prior to your appointment to ensure that your doctor can get a good understanding of what’s going on within your body.
If throat cancer is suspected, your doctor may perform a laryngoscopy, which allows him or her to obtain a closer view of your throat. After giving you a local anesthetic, your doctor will insert a long flexible tube into your throat and examine it thoroughly. If any abnormalities are revealed, your doctor may choose to take a tissue sample and test for cancer cells.
Risk Factors for Throat Cancer:
Although we do not know what causes throat cancer, there are some risk factors to be aware of. For example, men are more likely to develop throat cancer than women, and the disease is typically more common in individuals over the age of fifty. Similarly, certain lifestyle choices may increase the chances of developing throat cancer, including smoking, vitamin A deficiency, exposure to asbestos, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor dental hygiene.
There are also some connections between the development of throat cancer and certain types of HPV. According to the cancer treatment services in America, HPV is a significant risk factor for both throat and cervical cancers in women. What’s more, throat cancer is often linked to other kinds of cancer because abnormal cells in one part of the body can spread over time.