Throat cancer has become one of the most debilitating and dreadful types of cancer. Millions of patients fall prey to throat cancer every year. Increasing mortality rate due to throat cancer is a major concern across the world. Healthcare experts state that quitting a sedentary lifestyle and improper eating habits can considerably help reduce the prevalence of throat cancer.
Throat cancer is a fatal disease which can lead to life-threatening complications and may result in patient’s death. Throat cancer develops due to production of cancerous cells in vocal cords, tonsils, voice box, or any other region of patient’s throat. This disease can be successfully treated if detected in its initial phase.
Exact cause of throat cancer is not known. However, medical professionals believe that mutations in genes may fuel up the chances of throat cancer. Major risk factors associated with this cancer are listed below.
Throat cancer can be easily misunderstood as regular throat problem as it does not show any considerable symptoms in primary stages. The enumerated list describes some potential signs and symptoms of throat cancer which should not be taken lightly.
These symptoms may indicate an underlying serious throat problem including throat cancer. Therefore, patients should contact a well-experienced doctor if these symptoms persist for more than two weeks.
The following list elaborates the major types of throat cancer.
Surgeons mostly order imaging tests like computerized tomography (CT scan), positron emission tomography (PET scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan), endoscopy, and biopsy to determine the presence and degree of throat cancer.
There are mainly three types of treatments for throat cancer namely chemotherapy, surgical procedure, and radiotherapy. These treatment methods for throat cancer can be explained as follows.
Normally, a surgery is performed to directly remove the cancerous region in throat. The following are the widely performed surgical procedures for treating throat cancer.
This treatment method uses high-energy radiation for destroying the cancerous cells in throat. Radiation therapy is generally given after completion of throat surgery to kill the remaining malignant tissues in throat.
Chemotherapy involves the use of various drugs for killing the malignant tissues in throat area. Chemotherapy drugs are mostly given in either intravenous or oral form.
Patients will not be able to eat properly for a couple of weeks following any type of throat cancer surgery. During the healing phase, surgeons will advise taking food through a tube that will be passed to stomach via the nose of patient. Patients will face problems while speaking. Respective surgeons usually refer them to a speech therapist. A speech therapist can help them in expressing themselves more clearly. Patients may also feel stressed and depressed due to this major event in life. It is important for family members to show care and support to patients during this low phase. Patients can visit psychologists and learn relaxation techniques for a faster recovery. Activities like yoga and deep breathing exercises can significantly lower down the stress levels of patients. Patients must try to keep themselves engaged and spend quality time with family to overcome depression following a throat cancer surgery.
Throat cancer surgery mainly involves the following risks and complications.
Patients must discuss regarding these risk and complications with respective oncologists prior signing the consent form for throat cancer surgery.
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