Breathing - difficulty Breathing - wheeze Cough
Ear - ache Neck - lymph glands swollen Sputum - with blood
Swallowing - difficulty Throat - sore Throat - with lump(s)
Voice - hoarse Voice - sound changes Weight - loss

Throat cancer is sometimes referred as Head and Neck cancer but opinions are still divided about the use of this last name. Besides the throat, Head and Neck cancer may include mouth and nose as the term is used to denote forms of cancer that affect several mucosal surfaces in the head and neck area. The actual interpretation is that Throat cancer is a type of Head and neck cancer. Classifications and names also change from country to country.

Throat cancer is the common name that refers to cancerous tumors that begin in the pharynx, larynx or tonsils. Accumulating cells that develop genetic mutations are the cause of these tumors.

There are certain risk factors that increase the chance that this type of cancer may develop. These include:

-         Ageing. As far as it is more common in older people.

-         Smoking.

-         Alcoholism or excess of alcohol consumption.

-         Diet, poor in essential vitamins and minerals.

-         Long-term exposure to compounds that may irritate the throat.

-         The presence of Human papillomavirus (HPV).

-         Chronic Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

-         Family history of cancer.

Symptoms are persistent and depend on tumor location and type but a long lasting hoarse voice, enlarged lymph node in the neck, and a lump or sore that does not heal are among the early symptoms. However, a hoarse voice is also a common symptom of laryngitis.

Throat cancer is usually classified by its origin as follow:

-          Nasopharyngeal cancer begins in the part of the throat behind the nose.

-          Oropharyngeal cancer begins in the part of the throat right behind the mouth, and may include the tonsils.

-          Laryngopharyngeal cancer begins in the lower part of the throat (laryngopharynx).

-          Glottic cancer begins in the vocal cords.

-          Supraglottic cancer originates in the upper portion of the larynx, including the epiglottis.  

-          Subglottic cancer begins in the lower portion of the voice box.

In general, stages of throat cancer are as follow:

-          Stage I. The tumor is small and remains in a confined area of the throat.

-          Stage II. The tumor is still located in the throat but has grown larger.

-          Stage III. The cancerous cells get beyond the throat and reach nearby tissues or organs.

-          Stage IV. It indicates the most advanced stage. The cancer may have spread to lymph nodes or reach other distant organs.


Diagnosis can be confirmed with:

-          Physical examination

-          Nasoendoscopy

-          Biopsy of a small sample of tissue

-          X-ray

-          CT scan

-          MRI scan

-          Positron emission tomography (PET)

The mentioned imaging tests may help to determine the magnitude of the cancer.

   More Information:
Throat Cancer Treatment
Throat Cancer Healthcare Centers

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