The vocal cords, voice box, tonsils and other throat parts are the organs which can suffer from disease. There are two major types of throat cancer: laryngeal cancer and pharyngeal cancer. Laryngeal cancer occurs in larynx which is placed in voice box.
In addition, pharyngeal cancer is placed in pharynx, the tube which exists between top of the windpipe and nose. Laryngeal cancer less occurs when compared with pharyngeal cancer. Generally, throat cancer is diagnosed with laryngoscopy with which throat is monitored. Further, a throat biopsy can recommended if any abnormalities observed in laryngoscopy. In addition, PET scan, CT scan, x-ray, MRI and barium swallow are other diagnosis methods.
What are the Symptoms of Throat Cancer?
It is claimed that observation of throat cancer early symptoms is more difficult than other type of cancers. The early symptoms of throat cancer are: change and distortion in voice, sour throat with ear pain, swallowing problems, continuous cough especially with blood, and excessive weight loss. If one or more of these symptoms proceed more than two weeks, a doctor check-up is recommended.
What are the Common Treatment Methods for Throat Cancer?
There are three major treatment methods for throat cancer: surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Surgery is an option which is recommended to patients with a small tumour. Neck dissection, pharyngectomy and laryngectomy are some types of surgery. Removal of lymph nodes is named neck dissection. It is recommended when cancer spread to neck. Pharyngectomy is the procedure where part of throat is removed. In addition, removal of part of throat is named laryngectomy. After the surgery step, radiation therapy may be suggested by doctor. It is a treatment destroys the cancer cells left behind the surgery by using high energy rays. Furthermore, chemotherapy is recommended to patients when the cancer spreads to other functional organs. It is a drug therapy which slows down the cancer cell division and destroys these cells with chemical way.
Survival Rate of Throat Cancer Patients
As in all types of cancer, throat cancer has three stages: early stage, intermediate stage and advanced stage. Early diagnosis has a vital role in increasing the survival rate. The early stage throat cancer is remarkably curable. It may have five years of survival. In addition, the cure rate is up to 80-95% whereas further stages have 25-50% cure rate with five year survival rates.