Throat Cancer or Larynx Cancer

The throat cancer or larynx cancer is the malignant growth of cells in any region of the throat.

Throat cancer or larynx cancer is a specific type of cancer affecting the vocal cords, voice box (larynx), or other areas of the throat.

Therefore throat cancer is also called as Larynx cancer, Vocal cord cancer or the Cancer of the glottis depending upon its origin.

The diagnosis of throat cancer or larynx cancer involves the cranial CT scan or cranial MRI. These tests will also help determine if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the neck. Biopsy involves a thorough analysis of tissues by observing under microscope to confirm the presence of cancer cells or tumor.

Causes of Throat Cancer or Larynx Cancer

The causes of throat cancer or larynx cancer are quiet clear. The major risk factors for developing this disease are smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. The use of tobacco apart from smoking in other forms also is a risk factor for developing this disease.

A combination of smoking and alcohol consumption increases the chances more. Most of the cases report affecting people over age 40 years. Men have fold of developing this disease than women.

The most common symptoms of throat cancer or larynx cancer are an unusual lump in any regions of the throat, pain, blood in the sputum and cough, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, continuous cough which is persistent since long, weakness, headaches, loss of appetite and weight. Some breathing problems and earache may also be experienced.

Throat Cancer Treatment

Throat cancer or larynx cancer treatment is aimed completely at destruction of the cancer and prevention of spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. The standard methods of treatment are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

When the throat tumor is small, either surgery or radiation therapy alone can be used to eliminate the tumor. When the tumor is larger or has spread to lymph nodes in the neck, combination radiation and chemotherapy is often used to preserve the voice box and is successful in most cases.

The doctors take the help of a procedure called laryngoscopy which helps in examining the throat in which a tube with a small lighted camera (laryngoscope) are used which allows the physician to look into the mouth and down the throat to see the tumor.

Removal of the tumor on surgery, including all or part of the vocal cords using the laryngectomy may be necessary in some cases. Generally after the surgery patients require voice aids or speech as alternative methods of speaking. Apart from this the swallowing therapy after treatment may also be needed to help them adjust to the changes in the structure of the throat.

The overall prognosis of Throat cancer or larynx cancer is good. Throat cancer or Larynx Cancer can be almost be cured in 90% of patients if detected early. The percentage of recovery depends on certain factors like the stage of the cancer and the location of the tumor in the throat. In advances stage where the cancer has spread to the surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in the neck the cure rate is about 50-60%.

Throat cancer or larynx cancer prevention is done to lower the risk of the disease. People who smoke or otherwise use tobacco are at risk of developing tumors of the throat thus leading to Throat Cancer or Larynx Cancer. Excessive alcohol use also increases risk. Smoking and alcohol use together constitute an extreme risk for the development of Throat Cancer or Larynx Cancer.