About Throat Cancer
Throat cancer may occur in the larynx (voice box) or other areas in the throat. According to PubMed Health, men are 10 times more likely to develop throat cancer than women. However, anyone can develop the disorder. In particular, individuals who use tobacco or habitually drink excessive amounts of alcohol are more likely to develop throat cancer than people who avoid these habits.
Throat cancer symptoms include:
- Throat pain
- Lump in throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- High-pitched or other abnormal breathing sounds
- Sore throat that does not improve in a few weeks time
- Unexplained weight loss
- Coughing up blood
A Sydney throat specialist will be able to carry out the proper diagnostic tests that will reveal the underlying causes of your symptoms. These tests may include flexible laryngoscopy, a chest x-ray, a biopsy of tumour growths, and/or a CT scan of the neck, head, and chest area.
If the cancerous tumours are found early enough, then radiation therapy or surgery alone may be enough to rid the body of the problem. If cancerous tumours are left untreated for long periods of time, it is likely that the tumours will grow in size and spread to other areas of the body. In these cases, ENT specialists often initiate a combination of treatments including chemotherapy and radiation.
In many cases, the voice box can be preserved while ridding the body of tumours. However, surgical removal of all or a portion of the vocal cords may become necessary if the tumour has spread to these areas. A speech therapist will be able to help individuals who undergo this form of surgery to speak again using alternative methods.
Since throat cancer can spread (metastasize), early detection is important. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact an ENT specialist in Sydney immediately for a professional diagnosis.