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Throat cancer: symptoms, treatment


Throat cancer The front half of the neck, in the common people "throat", is actually a concentration of a complex set of organs and tissues that ensure the normal functioning of a person.

It is here that the general route of air and food intake through the pharynx is divided into two different “overpasses”: the larynx and the upper esophagus.

This is where the vessels that provide the brain with fresh oxygen pass.

It is here that the plexuses of the nerves lie superficially, which excessive irritation may cause disturbances in the functioning of the heart.

Only in this place you can visually assess and probe the only of all the endocrine glands, located superficially, immediately under the skin - the thyroid gland.

But it is this borderline function of the pharynx and larynx that caused the most frequent occurrence of malignant tumors of the neck organs from their forming tissues, united in the concept of "throat cancer".

In the pharynx there are three anatomical areas from top to bottom:

  1. Nasopharynx
  2. Oropharynx
  3. Throat pharynx

Most often, malignant tumors of this component of the throat occur in the nasopharynx (vault and lateral surfaces) and have a serious prognosis due to the germination of the skull bones in the air sinuses.

In other areas of the pharynx - tumors are rare.

The division of the anatomical regions of the larynx occurs in relation to the vocal cords:

  1. Nadvyazochny (together with the epiglottis, covering the entrance to the airways when swallowing) department
  2. Ligament department
  3. Subbinding department

Each of the localizations has its prognostic features in the event of malignant tumors.

The supravascular department of the larynx is most frequently affected by cancer (65%), the process develops rapidly and the cancer metastasizes early.

The cancer of the vocal cords is longer, which allows it to be detected at earlier stages and treated in time. It occurs in 32% of cases of malignant lesions of the larynx.

Substitial cancer localization is diagnosed in 3%. However, diffuse development and its distribution in the submucosal layer of this part of the larynx determines a more serious prognosis.

In general, in the structure of the incidence of malignant tumors, throat cancer takes about tenth place in the frequency of occurrence (1-4%). And 50-60% of them are cancer directly of the larynx itself. And 98% of all tumors of this localization, histologically account for a squamous variant or its variations (Schminke tumor - lymphoepithelioma).

Causes and predisposing factors

  1. Smoking is active and passive.
  2. Alcohol abuse. When this factor is combined with smoking, the probability of getting a throat tumor is doubled.
  3. Age over 60 years.
  4. Genetic predisposition. The risk of getting sick is three times higher if relatives have a malignant neoplasm of this localization.
  5. Industrial hazards (coal and asbestos dust, benzene, petroleum products, phenolic resins).
  6. People who received treatment for a previously malignant tumor with a localization in the head-neck area. In addition to the possible local effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, there is also of great importance, associated with aggressive treatment, a decrease in overall immune status.
  7. Long speech professional load.
  8. A specific lesion of the upper respiratory tract by Epstein-Barr virus, which also causes infectious mononucleosis.
  9. Human papillomavirus (HPV). Studies show an increase in the incidence of throat cancer five times when signs of damage by this virus are detected in their mucous membranes.
  10. Chronic productive laryngitis with the presence of precancerous diseases and changes in this area (papillomatosis, leukoplakia, dyskeratosis, pachydermia, fibromas on a broad basis, cystic formations in the vocal folds).
  11. Chronic inflammatory diseases in the upper respiratory tract (sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, tonsillitis, etc.).
  12. Non-compliance with oral hygiene and the presence of untreated teeth.
  13. Culinary preferences in the form of food salty and salted foods.
  14. Cicatricial changes in the mucous after injuries, burns, previous syphilis or tuberculosis.

According to statistics, throat cancer in women is diagnosed much less frequently than in men. About 80-90% of patients are men from 45 years old.

Throat Cancer Symptoms

Like all malignant tumors, cancer with localization in the throat is characterized by a number of common symptoms. These symptoms appear some time before the first clear clinical signs that allow you to clearly determine the location of the tumor. Often, the appearance of these symptoms is associated with a side effect of persistent smoking, as a variant of the normal condition of a chronic smoker and does not immediately turn to otolaryngologists. The length of this “silent” period also depends on the degree of malignancy of cancer cells.

Cancer throat symptoms General symptoms.

  1. Lack of appetite.
  2. Weight loss, weakness, weight loss, sleep disturbances.
  3. Subfebrile temperature.
  4. Anemia.

The main signs suggesting cancer of the throat.

  1. Sensation of catarrhal irritation in the nasal cavity and throat.
  2. Arising feeling of standing “lump in throat” or stuck fish bone.
  3. Violations of swallowing and patency of thick food, and then liquids, periodic fluttering of liquid food, saliva.
  4. Unusual, unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  5. Hot-dry cough, turning into permanent over time.
  6. The appearance of impurities of blood in saliva, sputum, discharge from the nose.
  7. An increase in the group of cervical lymph nodes and general edema of soft tissues, which is defined in the "fat-mass", not previously observed in a patient.
  8. Changes in breathing, accompanied by a feeling of inadequate inhalation and difficulty breathing out.
  9. The appearance of pain in the larynx of varying duration and intensity.
  10. Slimming, which is associated with unpleasant sensations in the throat when eating with a relatively safe appetite.
  11. Unpleasant, putrid odor from the mouth.
  12. An inexplicable, lasting change in the usual timbre of the voice, hoarseness without periods of improvement, with the consequent loss of it.
  13. Earache with significant hearing loss.
  14. Numbness and asymmetry of the lower parts of the face.
  15. Changes in mobility and deformation of the skin of the neck, with causeless intracutaneous hemorrhages.

The changes described above lasting for more than two weeks require the immediate referral of the patient to a specialist (dentist, otolaryngologist)!

Local symptoms depend on the location and type of growth (exophytic, endophytic, mixed) of the tumor itself.

Tumors in the nasopharynx and oropharynx

  1. Angina-like pain at rest and when swallowing.
  2. An increase in the groups of tonsils, their asymmetry, bleeding, the appearance of raids on them.
  3. Changing the shape of the language, its mobility, taste, accompanied by the appeared difficulty in the pronunciation of some sounds.
  4. The appearance of ulcerative defects that have not healed for a long time during the inspection of the nasal cavity and mouth.
  5. Nasal congestion, nasal breathing difficulty.
  6. Nosebleeds.
  7. Toothache, sudden tooth loss.
  8. Dental bleeding.
  9. A bit of a voice.
  10. Changes in hearing.
  11. Uncapable headache.
  12. Asymmetry of the face, feeling of numbness (manifestation of compression of the cranial nerves during germination of the tumor at the base of the skull).
  13. Early increase in submandibular lymph nodes.

Nonsvyazochny localization.

  1. Foreign body sensation in the throat, tickling and tickling.
  2. Pain when swallowing, which spreads to the ear from the side of the lesion.
  3. Changes in voice and constant sore throat join in the later stages.

Localization in the region of the vocal cords.

  1. Voice changes, hoarseness.
  2. Sore throat, which increases with talking
  3. Loss of voice completely.

This symptom appears in the very early stages of the disease.

Subbinding localization.

  1. Pain, discomfort in the larynx during the passage of the food lump.
  2. Constant, with signs of increase, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, accompanied by "guttural" sounds.
  3. Changes in the voice and sore throat are associated with the localization of cancer in this area in the later stages.

You should know that the younger a person has cancer of the throat, the more aggressive the disease develops and the more it goes to metastasis to the lymph nodes.

In advanced cases, the main causes of death are:

  • massive bleeding from tumor eroded vessels;
  • the addition of a secondary infection in the disintegration of the tumor with the development of sepsis;
  • aspiration with blood or food.

Diagnosis of throat cancer

  1. Survey of the patient with clarification of complaints.
  2. Inspection of the shape of the neck, palpation of the lymph nodes.
  3. Examination of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx with the help of mirrors.
  4. The palpation of the floor of the mouth, tongue, and tonsils.
  5. Taking a smear from a visually altered area of ​​the mucous membrane and needle aspiration from an enlarged and superficial lymph node for a cytological examination in order to detect cellular atypia, which makes it possible to suspect a tumor.
  6. Examination with a laryngoscope and fibrolaryngoscope. Visually determined by the change in the relief of the examined surfaces with the formation of the so-called "plus-tissue", the change of color of the mucous in its projection, ulceration, and coating with coating. In such cases, it is mandatory to take a sample of suspicious tissue for histological examination (biopsy). Histological examination and only it allows differentiating inflammatory, benign and malignant processes occurring in the pharynx and larynx between themselves. The result of the study determines the main directions of treatment.
  7. The study of the upper trachea using a tracheoscope to clarify the extent of the spread of the tumor and its deformation during compression outside.
  8. Research by means of ultrasonography. This is the most accessible at the present stage of the method of radiology. With its help, groups of deep lymph nodes are examined. Excess of normal size, changes in contrast, blurred borders, indicates a possible damage to their tumor. In addition, the state of the tissue surrounding the tumor and the possible compression of the great vessels and its degree are evaluated.
  9. X-ray examination of intracerebral sinuses, jaws (orthopantomography) and chest cavity (in the presence of metastases).
  10. Computed and magnetic resonance imaging with contrast. According to these studies one can judge the true size of the tumor, its possible germination in the surrounding tissues and metastasis to the lymph nodes.
  11. Additionally, the phonetic properties of the larynx are investigated to clarify the degree of immobility of the vocal cords, change the shape of the glottis. For this purpose, use of stroboscopy, electroglottography, phonetography.

Throat Cancer Treatment

The standard set of methods for treating lung cancer is not original and includes a standard set used in cancer: surgical treatment, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Unlike other localized cancers, part of throat tumors in the early (I-II) stages respond well to radiation treatment and chemotherapy (for example, limited only to the vocal cords). The selection of the treatment volume is strictly individual, depending on the histological form of the disease and the localization of the tumor. In some cases, you can do without crippling operations.

The third and fourth clinical stages require surgical treatment in combination with chemotherapy and radiation exposure. In some cases, chemotherapy and radiation are carried out before surgery, to reduce the volume of tissues removed and to accurately determine the boundaries of the tumor, which may show up under the influence of the death of part of the external cancer cells.

The peculiarity of tumors of the sub-laryngeal parts of the larynx is weak, and sometimes its complete absence, sensitivity to radiation therapy, with the few exceptions of tumors with a high grade. Therefore, tumors of this localization at any stage require surgical treatment.

Along with the removal of the tumor, produce the maximum possible resection of the lymph nodes, based on their characteristics of their location. Minimal germination of cancer in neighboring organs and tissues will determine the minimally crippling level of operational benefits. Unfortunately, without mutilating, disabling operations, in the later stages, in order to completely cure and prolong the life of the patient, it is impossible.

Removal of the larynx in its entirety and in combination with the tongue is a crippling operation. In such cases, normal breathing and food ingestion are disrupted, not to mention the fact that the opportunity to feel the taste of food and participate in conversation is lost forever. Breathing is carried out using the formed fistula with the skin on the front surface of the lower third of the neck.

Recovery operations after radical removal of the tumor have recently received new development with the development of transplant surgery and the use of donor organs, artificial parts of the larynx. There are modern developments in the cultivation of the trachea from the stem cells of the patient.


When carrying out the full complex of treatment, five-year survival for cancer of the throat, on average, according to various sources, corresponds to the following data:

Stage Throat Cancer Forecast.
Stage 0 ("in situ") 96-100%.
Stage 1 78-80%.
Stage 2 68-72%.
Stage 3 50-55%.
Stage 4 about 25%.

Throat Cancer Prevention

It is necessary to exclude the impact of all possible risk factors.

And above all - quitting smoking. It is noted that the percentage of those cured of throat cancer from among those patients who stopped smoking even at the stage after diagnosing their sad diagnosis was significantly higher than those who continued to indulge their deadly habit.

| 2 May 2015 | | 8,903 | Uncategorized
  • | valentine | November 1, 2015

    I already have cancer. What should I do ...

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Bird Eyeview: Aren’t we trying to stop cancer and this dude talking bout a 60 to 70% chAnce we all going die ? Fuck man I’m ending it now fuck this

Alok Patel Shivoham: Impression: Punch biopsy from ulceroproliferative growth in left gingivo-buccal sulcus Moderately Differentiated Squamous cell carcinoma. please es impression ke bare me bataye. thanku

T CENTRE: Mujhe khase aah raha hai or voice change b huyie or sakhat khana b khanay ma mushkil hota hai mara voice booth bare ho gaye jub ma anda kha rahe hoo wo booth daar tuk thoda thoda galya pa rahata hai

Crystals Texas Randomness: *I HATE HPV!* I was told I had it back in like 2009/2010, but after that I don’t what happened?! They’ve been telling me that I don’t have it anymore and my paps have been normal. However, I’m having so many issues with my throat and earlier this year I coughed up blood/clots while I was asleep. The doctors didn’t know why and still don’t. 😒 🤷🏻‍♀️

Aravind PK: I have hpv amd im having throat indpfections often Im a guy who uxed to have small issues always Like cough or so Now i noticed tomsil stones amd ear pain I cleaned it out amd betadine but i easily get an white luss form on the tomsil area amd lower part Whoch i can cleanit amd control if i dont take cold stuff or so and keep clean What is your opinion Should i go and have a check up