What is laryngeal cancer?
The larynx, or voicebox, is an important part of the throat that helps us to speak and breathe. Laryngeal cancer comes in the form of malignant tumours that affect the cells of the larynx where the vocal cords are located. Cancers of the throat and larynx are types of head and neck cancer. Depending on the location, the cancer can be classified as a supraglottic tumour (above the glottis), a glottic tumour, or a subglottic tumour (below the glottis).
What are the symptoms of laryngeal cancer?
There are many symptoms of laryngeal cancer. The main symptoms include:
- neck lump
- persistent sore throat
- long-lasting cough
- pain or difficulty when swallowing
- unexplained weight loss
What is throat cancer?
Throat cancer or oropharyngeal cancer tends to start behind the nose in the part of the throat that helps you swallow.
What are the symptoms of throat cancer?
Just like laryngeal cancer, there are a variety of different symptoms associated with oropharyngeal cancer. The main ones are as follows:
- swelling or lump in the neck
- sore throat
- changes in your voice
- bad breath
- unexplained weight loss
What causes throat and laryngeal cancer?
Smoking tobacco, drinking a lot of alcohol, an unhealthy diet, and exposure to harmful chemicals or substances such as coal, dust, or asbestos increase the risk of laryngeal cancer. It also seems to run in families with a history of head and neck cancer.
How is throat/laryngeal cancer treated?
Early detection of throat cancer is essential to increase the life expectancy of patients. The treatment is based on removing the tumour, while avoiding its spread to other parts of the body. Depending on the case, surgery may involve partial or total removal of the vocal cords, and treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
If I suspect throat/laryngeal cancer, when should I seek medical attention?
Patients who suspect that they might have throat/laryngeal cancer should seek medical attention if they notice that they have had a hoarse voice for more than three weeks.
How is throat/laryngeal cancer diagnosed or ruled out?
In order to either diagnose or rule out throat/laryngeal cancer, the GP will firstly thoroughly examine the recent medical history of the patient, before examining the inside and outside of the patient's throat to look for any abnormalities, such as swelling and/or lumps. If throat/laryngeal cancer is suspected, the patient will be referred to their local hospital where various tests will be carried out. A biopsy, laryngoscopy, nasendoscopy, an ultrasound scan, CT scan, and MRI scan are all of the tests that may be performed in hospital to rule out or diagnose throat cancer.
Can oral sex lead to throat cancer?
There is, in fact, evidence to suggest that practising oral sex can indeed eventually lead to the development and diagnosis of throat/laryngeal cancer. This is due to the fact that the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the mouth can be contracted through oral sex. HPV can, over time, change one's cells, which increases the chance of them becoming cancerous. However, it is quite rare for HPV to cause throat/laryngeal cancer.
Can acid reflux cause throat cancer?
While acid reflux may not necessarily cause throat cancer, individuals who suffer from frequent acid reflux symptoms are at a high risk of being diagnosed with throat cancer. It is one of the main risk factors associated with the development of throat/laryngeal cancer.
Might flexible robotic surgery be a good treatment option for my throat cancer?
Flexible robotic surgery can absolutely be a highly suitable and attractive treatment option for patients with throat/laryngeal cancer. As it is a minimally invasive procedure, the chances of severe scarring as well as nerve and blood vessel damage are all greatly decreased.
How long can one live with throat/laryngeal cancer?
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, there is a 61 per cent average chance that a patient with throat/laryngeal cancer will survive for five years after diagnosis.
What type of doctor should I see if I think I might have throat/laryngeal cancer?
Otolaryngologists and ENT specialists specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of throat/laryngeal cancer.11-13-2012 06-15-2023