Throat cancer develops when the cells in your throat start to grow and divide uncontrollably. This cancer most commonly begins in the throat lining, but it can also begin in other areas such as the epiglottis or the larynx, says Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti, a head and neck cancer surgeon in Kolkata.
Throat cancer symptoms
Throat cancer can cause various symptoms, many of which are similar to those caused by other conditions such as throat infections. Throat cancer symptoms may include:
- Swallowing Difficulties
- Sore throat
- Hoarseness or other changes in voice
- Swellings or lumps in your throat
- Unexplained weight loss
Although throat cancer can cause all of these symptoms, it’s important to remember that they aren’t always a sign of something serious. However, it is critical to seek medical attention just in case, says the best head and neck cancer doctor in Kolkata.
Who is at risk of developing throat cancer?
Throat cancer can affect anyone, but you are more likely to develop it if you:
- Smoke or use other forms of tobacco
- Consume a lot of alcohol
- Have Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)
- Don’t eat much fruit or vegetables
If you have GORD, changing your lifestyle and seeking treatment can reduce your risk of developing throat cancer. It’s also critical to understand the risks of HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause throat cancer. You can protect yourself by practicing safe sex and getting the HPV vaccine.
Throat cancer diagnosis and treatment
If you have symptoms that could be caused by throat cancer, you should see a doctor. Although throat infections are more likely to be the cause of these symptoms, but sometimes, it will turn out to be throat cancer, and you will require immediate treatment, says the best head and neck cancer doctor in Kolkata.
If your doctor suspects you have throat cancer, you will most likely require an endoscopy. A special camera is used to look inside your throat during the procedure. Any abnormalities discovered during endoscopy will be biopsied or sampled by the doctor. CT scans and MRIs are two other tests used to diagnose throat cancer.
If you are diagnosed with throat cancer, surgery, however, is required to remove the affected areas.
Early-stage throat cancer is usually surgically removed during an endoscopy, but it is occasionally necessary to remove some or all of the voice box. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or targeted drug therapies may be followed after surgery to eliminate the remaining cancer cells, if any.
It is critical to see a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have throat cancer to maximize your chances of survival, says Dr. Suvadip Chakarabarti, a head and neck cancer surgeon in Kolkata.