What is throat cancer?
Throat cancer is when cancer develops in the throat, tonsils, or voice box. The epiglottis can also be affected.
What are the symptoms of throat cancer?
There is a wide variety of symptoms for this cancer, and not everybody will experience every symptom. They include:
- Changes in voice
- A cough
- Pain in the ears
- Weight loss
- Sore throat
- Problems swallowing
- A lump/sore that doesn’t heal
What causes throat cancer?
Throat cancer occurs when the cells in the throat are mutated. The mutations cause them to divide and grow at a fast rate until they form a tumor. Medical professionals are unsure as to why or how these mutations occur. They have, however, identified risk factors. They include having HPV, tobacco and alcohol use, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and a diet that is low in fruit and vegetables.
How is throat cancer diagnosed?
Doctors will examine the throat using a scope, perform a biopsy, or use imaging tests to diagnose this cancer. They may need to conduct further tests in order to stage the cancer.
What are the treatments for throat cancer?
There are various treatment options for this cancer. They include surgery, radiation, targeted drug therapy, chemotherapy, and supportive care.
One can also reduce their risk of throat cancer. You can do so by protecting yourself from HPV, eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, stopping or avoiding smoking, and drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all.