The throat is the hollow tube that allows food and liquids to pass from the mouth to the stomach and allows air to travel to and from the lungs. It is divided into three distinct sections - the area behind the nose, behind the mouth including the tonsils and the lower throat. Throat cancer usually develops in the cells of the mucous membrane lining the throat. If it is left untreated, the abnormal cells will pass through to the surrounding tissues, once this happens it is quite easy for the cancer to spread to the lymph nodes in the neck and then on to the other organs. When it develops is does not cause any symptoms and the early warning signs are the same as the symptoms of a chest cold. A growing tumor can sometimes interfere with the senses and swallowing. Cancers of the nose and lower throat area usually spread before any symptoms are apparent, however cancers behind the mouth do not usually spread too quickly at first.
Symptoms that are caused by a tumor in the upper or lower throat include:
Persistent sore throat
Pain in the ears
Traces of blood in mucous
Swollen lymph nodes.
Additional symptoms that result from a tumor directly behind the nose include:
Partial hearing loss
Ringing in the ears
Middle ear infection type symptoms
Smoking and heavy drinking of alcohol are the main risk factors associated with throat cancer. Another cause is the prevalence of a type of herpes virus. Poor oral hygiene and eating a lot of salted meat can also cause it. If you breath in asbestos, diesel fumes, coal or other mineral dusts you are increasing your chances of developing throat cancer.
If you find that radiation treatment is causing discomfort ask your radiation specialist about any medications that can be taken and how to ease any of the side effects also try to only eat soft or liquidized foods and drinks throughout the day.
Stop smoking and try not to drink too much alcohol.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above and if you are a heavy smoker or drinker have a thorough examination by your doctor to make sure you are not suffering with it.
Consult your naturopath about taking anti-oxidants, as they have been successful in helping to fight cancerous cells.
If the throat cancer is caught in its early stages, treatment will be to remove the cancer and this is only done is the cancer has not spread beyond the lymph nodes by this time. There are a number of risks that are associated with this type of cancer as it is the area that allows a person to speak, eat and perform other necessary functions. The exact type of treatment depends on the severity of the cancer and where it is located. Radiation treatment is usually performed and help cure most of the cancers in this area. If the cancer does not respond to this form of treatment, or it is too far advanced, surgery will have to be performed together with chemotherapy.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.