Throat cancer is a vicious disease which can stay hidden for a long time. If the cancer appears on glottises first, symptoms will become apparent sooner and manifest mostly as hoarseness or irritable cough. Appearance of one or more lymph nodes on the neck is the first thing most people experience in a case of a throat cancer. These cancers can represent local metastases or asymptomatic throat cancer. In such a case, the symptoms will become stronger and clearer, making it possible to detect. Malicious changes done to the glottises can be diagnosed with a local direct or indirect laryngoscope procedure. When doubting on cancer biopsy is a must-do and it’s done on the altered tissue along with a confirmation from the pathologist. Appearance of eventual local metastases is usually confirmed with a local cytological tracer.
Prognosis of the condition heavily depends on the stage in which the throat cancer resides. Cancers appearing above the glottis can exist for an extremely long time showing absolutely no signs of throat cancer. Once the disease is discovered, it has reached an advanced stage, which is about 70% of throat cancer occurrences. Cancers which developed on the glottises are commonly detected in their early stage, which gives a better recovery chance. In order to establish a detailed and reliable prognosis, the appearance of local and remote metastases needs to be determined as well. In most cases, a typical five year survival period can increase with early discovery and improved therapy procedures – a ten year survival period makes up for about 50% of all cases, which is a general average for all stages of throat cancers.
What Causes It?
There are several factors which have a significant effect on this disease’s development, all of which can be prevented. For starters, there are two bad habits you’d want to stay away from – smoking and excessive alcohol consummation. Consummation of these two joys at once is a perfect tandem for developing throat cancer. Some of the rarer but also significant factors include longer exposure to asbestos, wooden or coal dust and exposure to a variety of volatile chemicals. People who already had cancer on head or neck are especially endangered here, as well as those people who have someone in their family suffering from the same cancer.
Treatment of throat cancer is done in three ways – surgically, with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Depending on the patient’s status and on the stage in which the cancer resides, different methods can be applied in different intensities. Most important factors here are played by the size and position of the tumor, the overall health status of the patient and presence of any metastases anywhere in the body. Mission of each and every one of these treatment methods is to cure the disease and make sure that the throat maintains its function. It’s important to gradually observe and monitor the progress of the treatment which can then be altered over the course of a couple of months to become more efficient or aggressive towards the tumor.