Causes and symptoms of throat cancer. Diagnosis and treatment
Throat cancer is a malignant tumor of the larynx that develops from epithelial cells. If you believe the statistics, this pathology occurs in 4-7% of the population and affects men over the age of 40 years. What are the causes and symptoms of throat cancer?
Factors triggering cancer of the larynx and throat
- Heredity. Having a cancer patient in the family significantly increases the risk of cancer.
- Non-compliance with oral hygiene. The presence of harmful microorganisms in the mouth and throat provokes the development of a tumor.
- Professional factors (constant contact of mucous with asbestos, coal dust).
- Smoking. The effect of carcinogens and toxic substances on the mucous membrane causes cancer.
- Excessive alcohol intake.
- Irritation with dentures over time.
- Eating too hot, salty and spicy foods.
Symptoms of throat cancer may vary. In the early stages, they are easily confused with signs of a common cold, when a sore throat and a standard malaise are present. Symptoms of throat cancer may be as follows:
- sore throat, feeling of tightness;
- change of voice, hoarseness, nasalness;
- breathing problems, inability to breathe through the nose;
- an increase in the size of the lymph nodes in the neck;
- cough, hemoptysis;
- hearing impairment;
- the appearance of white or red spots on the oral mucosa;
- bloody saliva;
- bad breath;
- ulcers in the pharynx and oral cavity that do not heal for a long time;
- pain when moving the lower jaw;
- discomfort when chewing, swallowing, and movements of the tongue.
How to identify throat cancer? It is possible to detect a tumor by simply examining the mouth and throat at a otorhinolaryngologist's appointment. To identify its nature, a biopsy is used (take a piece of the tumor and study it). Diagnosis of throat cancer also includes radiography of the chest and head, computed tomography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging.
Stage of the disease
The sooner the oncology is detected, the easier it will be to destroy it. There are four stages of throat cancer:
I - the tumor is not manifested and is located on the same organ;
II - enlarged tumor affecting other organs;
III - multiple metastasis to regional lymph nodes;
IV - the appearance of distant metastases and tumor germination in other organs.
To combat throat cancer, a surgical method is used (effective in the early stages, when there are no metastases and no other organs are affected), chemotherapy (used to reduce the tumor before the operation or to destroy the remaining cancer cells after the operation) and radiation therapy (as well as chemotherapy helps to reduce the size of the tumor and is often used in case of recurrence of the disease). The last two methods are effective, provided that large blood vessels are not affected and there are no distant metastases.
In most cases, we provoke the appearance of throat cancer on our own. That is why it is necessary to pay increased attention to the prevention of such diseases and to know about the symptoms of throat cancer.