Throat Cancer Treatment in India


About Throat Cancer

Throat cancer refers to cancerous tumors that develop in the Nasopharynx (upper part of the throat, behind the nose), Oropharynx (the middle part of the throat), Hypopharynx (the bottom part of the throat) and larynx (voice box).

The throat also known as pharynx is a 5-inch long tube that runs from the nose to the neck. Factors that increase your risk of throat cancer include

Risk Factors:

  • Age: Cancer risk increases as you grow old (most common over the age of 65)
  • Tobacco: Including chewing tobacco and smoking
  • Alcohol: Long term regular drinkers have higher chances of getting cancer
  • Diet: Lack of antioxidants in diet (lack of fruits and vegetables)
  • Infections: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, contracting Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Gastroesophageal reflux disease increase the risk

There are no specific symptoms for throat cancer and occurrence of few symptoms cannot indicate the disease. However, if any of the below mentioned symptoms occur constantly then a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Symptoms:

  • Change in the voice quality (hoarseness)
  • Throat pain
  • Bad breath
  • Coughing with bloody sputum
  • Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  • Throat discomfort (lump formation in the throat)
  • Ear and neck pain
  • Sudden weight loss

Diagnosis:

One or more of the following tests can be done to detect the presence of cancer:

  • Endoscope or laryngoscope: They are used to get a close look of the throat and if abnormalities are found during the test then Biopsy (removal of a part of tissue) is done
  • Imaging tests: CT (computed tomography), PET (positron emission tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and X-rays are done which helps the doctor find out the spread of the cancer
  • Tests like Barium Swallow and Laryngeal Videostroboscopy are done too

Prevention:

  • Quit smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation (one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men)
  • Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help reduce cancer risk.
  • Protect yourself from diseases like HPV (go for safe sex)

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