Throat Cancer And Throat Cancer Synptoms

By | July 25, 2015

throat cancer symptoms

There are many disorders and diseases of throat similarly its one disease is the throat cancer. In our previous posts we have been sharing with you various types of cancer and their subtypes as well as their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, risk factors, statistics and survival rate.

What is throat cancer?

Cancer is a class of diseases where abnormal cells multiply and divide uncontrollably in an unordered way in the body. Such abnormal cells form malignant growths which are termed as tumors. Throat cancer refers to a cancer of the voice box, which is known as the vocal cords, and some other parts of the throat, like as the tonsils and the oropharynx. This type of cancer is often grouped into 2 categories:

Pharyngeal cancer:

It gets developed in forms in the pharynx which is the hollow tube that runs behind your nose to the top of your windpipe.

Laryngeal cancer:

It gets developed in the larynx which is your voice box.

Throat cancer is relatively very uncommon. According to the National Cancer Institute, estimates are  approximately that 12,360 new cases of laryngeal cancer are diagnosed and 13,510 new cases of pharyngeal cancer in 2012

Risk factors for throat cancer:

Male people are more likely to develop the throat cancer as compare to females , and this disease is more common in people who are over the age of 50 years. Some lifestyle habits increase the risk of developing cancer of the throat. Such factors are listed below:

  • Smoking.
  • too much alcohol consumption.
  • Deficiency of vitamin A.
  • Exposure to substances like asbestos.
  • poorer dental hygiene

throat cancer symptoms

There is also a link between throat cancer and certain types of human papillomavirus infections (HPV). It is is a sexually transmitted disease.Cancer Treatment Centers of America say that HPV infection is a risk factor for both cervical cancers in women and throat cancer.

Throat cancers have also been linked to some other types of cancers. In reality, some people who are diagnosed diagnosed with throat cancer are diagnosed with esophageal, lung, or bladder cancer at the same point of time. This is typically because of the reason that cancers often have the same risk factors and also because of the reason that cancer that begins in one part of the body can also spread throughout the body in time.

Stages of throat cancer:

Cancer of the larynx that is throat cancer is often grouped into following stages.

  • Early (Stage I).
  • Intermediate (Stage II).
  • Advanced (Stages III & IV) disease groups.

Who treats throat cancer?

A doctor specializes in the throat and throat diseases cures and treats the throat cancer and he is known as otolaryngologist.

Symptoms of throat cancer:

Listed below are the signs and symptoms of throat cancer. If you note all or some of the symptoms in you, it should be immediately reprted to doctor. Here we go with the symptoms of throat cancer:

  • Observed change in your voice.
  • Trouble in swallowing mechanism.
  • Unexpected weight loss.
  • Sore in throat.
  • Persistent cough even blood may appear while coughing.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Wheezing
  • ear pain

throat cancer symptoms

How  throat Cancer Affects Vocal Function

As tumors grow they start being encroach in the airway and they  in this way also affect the muscles of the voice box. Such muscles are vital and important in providing the protection to the trachea which is the windpipe during the mechanism of swallowing the solids, liquids and also the saliva. When they interfered, closure of the larynx becomes incomplete and it can lead to harsh and tough coughing, choking or even the chronic pneumonia. Such structure of the voice box also provides the rigid support to the trachea that is the windpipe to facilitate respiration or breathing. The Compromisation  of this function causes shortness of breath, noisy and labored breathing. Because of which, the larynx is important in communication. The voice box is consisting of two components that is upper and lower components. The upper component or part is called the supraglottic larynx and it consists of the epiglottis; false vocal cords and the supporting muscles in the framework of the cartilaginous “box” which is called as the thyroid cartilage. When the cancers grow here, they interfere with swallowing and cause pain in ears, however, it only affects the voice in a minor way, leading to “thick” speech, “hot potato”  the voice or change in timbre. The lower part of this voice box contains the true vocal cords and then it extends down to the top of the windpipe, that is  the cricoid cartilage.  Throat cancer in this region, which is termed as the glottis, causes significant hoarseness as the primary symptom of this disease.

There are some natural cartilage and fibrous barriers to spread of the cancer within the larynx that are well understood by the head and the neck surgeons. Such barriers prevent the spread and also theinvasion of malignant cells so that  the cancer of the glottis that is the true vocal cords tends to remain localized for longer periods of time, however 6 to 8 months, before they have been discovered or diagnosed. This is because of the reason that there is a sparse lymphatic drainage system in that region, the spread of the cancer to the adjacent lymph nodes in the neck is generally a later stage of the malignant growth or cancerous growth. In supraglottic larynx  thai is the false vocal cords and epiglottis, however, the tissues are loose, lymphatics more abundant and they spread to lymph nodes that  occurs early and often. So we can say that, most treatment approaches for cancer, even in early ones arising in the supraglottic larynx, including treatment of the lymph nodes in the neck region, whereas treatment of early vocal cord that is the glottis cancer is focused on the primary tumor in the larynx region.

Cancers arising in the larynx that is voice box are devastating malignancies that account for roughly 200,000 deaths annually worldwide. Though it only represents 2 to 5 percent of all malignancies, such cancers have special importance this is because of their significant effects on the voice, swallowing and the quality of life. In the U.S, it is an estimation that almost over 12,000 new cases of this cancer are diagnosed every year and this incidence have been increasing during the time that many other cancers are decreasing.

The tobacco use is known to be a major predisposing factor for the laryngeal cancer. But, alcohol use, nutritional deficiency, genetic predispositions and some  viral factors might also play the important role in it. The vast majority that is 85 to 90 percent of the cancers of larynx are the squamous cell carcinomas which arise from covering of vocal cords.

throat cancer symptoms

Diagnosis of throat cancer:

When you make your appointment with the doctor, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and about the medical history. If you know all the problems that you are facing then the doctor will ask you for the symptoms after asking for the symptoms he or she will take your test for diagnosing the disease. If you have been experiencing symptoms such as a sore throat, hoarseness, and persistent cough and there is no improvement in that i and no other explanation, he or she (your doctor may suspect the throat cancer.

In order to check for throat cancer, your doctor will perform a test known as laryngoscopy. This type of procedure gives your doctor the closer view of your throat. Once you are given a local anesthetic, the doctor inserts a long flexible tube down in to your throat, and makes use of a light and the mirror in order to examine the throat. If such test unveils that fact that there are some abnormalities, the doctor may take a sample of tissue from your throat through a procedure which is known as biopsy and test the sample for cancer.

Treatment of throat cancer:

There are different treatment options and procedure for throat cancer. The treatment method recommended by the doctor will depend on the extent of your disease and also stage of the disease, in spite of other factors.


Most of the cancers are cured and treated by the procedure of surgery which is carried out by a specialist known as surgeon who specializes in surgery.

In the case that the tumor in your throat is still so small, the doctor may surgically remove the tumor. Such surgery will be done in the hospital while you are under the sedation. If the tumor is large enough then there are many other alternative options that line up before you in order to get yourself cured and treated out of this cancer disease which we will discuss in proceeding paragraphs.

throat cancer symptoms

Radiation Therapy

After surgery have been done for the removal of the tumor, your doctor might recommend you get radiation therapy done as a treatment. Radiation therapy which is also known as radio therapy uses high energy rays or radiations to destroy and kill the malignant cancer cells. It will target any cancerous cells left behind by the tumor. So in this way you can completely get rid of cancerous cells that were left behind after the surgery so together surgery and radiation therapy will be proved very affective in regard of cancer treatment


As chemotherapy is not only used for the treatment of throat cancer but also in treatment of almost every type of cancer therefore it is found to be very effective. Actually it is the procedure of the medication where medication in the form of the drugs are given to the patient by 2 means one is orally that is to be taken by the mouth whereas there is other way to take the medication which is often given by the doctor by inserting the drug in to the vein

In case of tumors that are large enough tumors and tumors that have been spread to the lymph nodes and some other organs or tissue of your body, your doctor may recommend you the radiation, as well as chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a drug that kills and slows the growth of the malignant cells.

Survival rate of throat cancer:

Cancer of the larynx is often grouped into the early (Stage I), the intermediate is the Stage II or the advanced  are Stages III & IV disease groups. Early cancers are very remarkably curable with five year survival or the cure rates of 80 to 95 percent compared to the advanced stages that have five to year survival rates of 25 to 50 percent.

Supraglottis (the larynx above the vocal cords, it also includes the epiglottis)

Stage 5-year relative survival rates
I 59%
II 59%
III 53%
IV 34%

Glottis (the part of the larynx that includes the vocal cords)

Stage 5-year relative survival rates
I 90%
II 74%
III 56%
IV 44%

Subglottis (the larynx below the vocal cords)*

Stage 5-year relative survival rates
I 65%
II 56%
III 47%
IV 32%

*(These numbers are less accurate because of the small number of patients.)

Hypopharynx (the area around the vocal cords)

Stage 5-year relative survival rates
I 53%
II 39%
III 36%
IV 24%

The data in all of 0f the above charts is from the National Cancer Data Base, which is based on patients diagnosed from 1998 to1999, and was published in 2010 in the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, the Seventh Edition.


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