Throat cancer cases make up between 5 to 7 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States. The majority of throat cancer cases occur to people older than the age of 50. Twice as many men are diagnosed with throat cancer than women. Fortunately, the money spent on educating the public about throat cancer was well spent because the number of deaths due to throat cancer has been on the decline since the 1980s.
Chronic earaches are a common symptom of throat cancer; these aches can sometimes be mistaken for an ear infection caused by flu. Chronic sore throat is another major symptom of throat cancer and it can be persistent and not go away. A dry throat and difficulty speaking, sometimes it can feel like there is a lump in the back of the mouth, throat or neck, this symptom can also make one sound hoarse.
Throat Cancer Treatments
Throat cancer can be treated in a number of ways. Depending on the severity of the throat cancer, any combination of the following may be used to treat it:
Surgery – The surgery complexity will depend on the severity and extent of damage caused by the throat cancer.
Radiation – The radiation dose will vary depending on the size of the throat cancer tumor.
It can be treated effectively when identified in right time. The surgery is the common treatment available. It is also the effective treatment when the need arise to remove the tumor from the affected area. The other treatments provided for the throat cancer are radio therapy, chemo therapy among others. The radiation therapy is combined with the chemotherapy for better results. The surgery is usually done along with the radio therapy to remove any small lump that cannot be removed by the surgery.
Among the various cancer types, the throat cancer is the deadly one. The death rate is higher than any other type of the cancer. The reason for this is the discovery of the cancer in the later stage of the development. The throat cancer symptoms are similar to the day-to-day problems like sore throat, pain in throat. This makes its discovery in its early stage difficult.
There is a wide variety of reasons why someone can be at a heightened risk for a throat cancer, including smoking; chewing tobacco and other things, such as betel nut, gutkha, marijuana or pan; heavy alcohol consumption; poor diet resulting in vitamin deficiencies (worse if this is caused by heavy alcohol intake); weakened immune system; asbestos exposure; prolonged exposure to wood dust or paint fumes; exposure to petroleum industry chemicals and being over the age of 55 years.
The next type of symptom causes from the tumors that occurs in the nose, throat and in lungs. The tumors may result in bleeding in regions like nose, throat or in mouth. If the bleeding occurs in mouth saliva and if it occurs frequently, then the physician must be consulted to examine the possible reason for the bleeding.
The tobacco is found to be the most common cause for the throat cancer. It damages the cells in the oral cavity and the inner part of the throat. The risk is high for the smokers when compared to normal people. The statistics says the ninety percent of the people suffering from it are smokers. The risk in using the smoke-less tobacco is higher than the smoking. The usage of the smoke-less tobacco causes other diseases like gum disease which makes it more complicated to treat.
The symptoms for the throat cancer mostly include teeth pain and other teeth related problems. So at first the dentist consultant should be made. The physician needs to gather the medical history of the patient. Then an otorhinolaryngologist is considered for further diagnosis. The throat is examined with the help of a small mirror or fiber optic material.