- Throat cancer is characterized as cancerous tumors that affect the pharynx, voice box (larynx), and/or tonsils.
- The lining of the throat is often affected first. If the cancer metastasizes, the voice box may be impacted next.
- In this blog, the physicians at AOC explain the causes, symptoms, risk factors, treatments, and other things you need to know about throat cancer.
What Is Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer that currently affects less than seven percent of the American population. According to the National Cancer Institute, death rates for throat cancer have decreased each year by 2.3% since 2003, and when found during its early stages, oral cancers often have a survival rate between 80 and 90% (The Oral Cancer Foundation).
Still, receiving a cancer diagnosis can be devastating, which is why it’s important patients obtain care from a highly credentialed oncologist and a specialist in the field of otolaryngology who has oral cancer expertise. The surgeons at AOC are not only exceedingly qualified in treating cancers of the throat and mouth, but they are also compassionate individuals who want patients to know there is hope no matter the stage of cancer.
Treatment For Throat Cancer
Because throat cancer affects a person’s ability to speak, swallow, and hear comfortably, treatment often requires a multidisciplinary approach. Your AOC physician may coordinate care with several specialists (i.e. nutritionists, oncologists, speech language pathologists, pain management specialists, psychologists, etc.) to ensure you’re receiving comprehensive care.
With most cancers, treatment depends on the stage of cancer. In general, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery may all be administered to safely remove and treat your throat cancer. Your AOC physician will help coordinate these treatment modalities with some of their preferred experts.
Symptoms Of Throat Cancer
If you think you may be affected by throat cancer, first, consider your symptoms. Throat cancer produces the following signs:
- Lumps in the neck
- Chronic sore throat
- Ear pain
- Difficulty swallowing or eating
- Weight loss
Your AOC physician will examine areas of the throat with both the naked eye and an endoscope. Small tissue samples may be biopsied to determine whether or not throat cancer is present.
Throat Cancer Risk Factors
Although throat cancer is relatively rare, tobacco products and alcohol abuse increase a person’s risk significantly. Other risk factors include the human papillomavirus (HPV), Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and contracting the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Call AOC today to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians to learn more about throat cancer.
Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.