What to look for
As with most cancers, in the beginning,
throat cancer does not cause any symptoms. The early warning signs are similar to the
symptoms of a chest cold.
Symptoms caused by a tumour in the upper or
lower throat may include:
Additional symptoms resulting from a tumour
directly behind the nose may include:
The throat is the hollow tube that allows
food and liquids to pass from the mouth to the stomach. It also lets air travel to and
from the lungs. The throat is divided into three distinct sections: the area behind the
nose; behind the mouth (including the tonsils) and the lower throat.
Cancers of the throat most often develop in
the cells of the mucous membrane lining the throat. Eventually if left untreated, the
abnormal cells penetrate through to the surrounding tissues. It is relatively easy for the
cancer to spread from here to the lymph nodes in the neck, then on to the other organs.
A growing tumour may interfere the senses
and swallowing. Unfortunately, cancers of the nose area and lower throat often spread
early, before symptoms are apparent. Cancers behind the mouth will usually not spread to
much at first.
There are some risk factors associated with
throat cancer. These are smoking and heavy drinking of alcohol. These cause most cancers
in and around the mouth region. Another cause of cancer is the prevalence of a virus - a
type of herpes virus.
Also subjecting yourself to coal or other
mineral dust, asbestos, and diesel fumes may further increase the chances of sustaining
throat cancer. Poor oral hygiene and regular consumption of salted meats may also
Provided the throat cancer is detected
early enough, treatment usually will work to remove the cancer. This is provided that the
cancer has not spread beyond lymph nodes by this time. There are a number of risks
associated with this type of cancer, it being the area that allows the patient to speak,
eat and perform other necessary purposes.
The exact type of treatment usually depends
on the severity of the cancer and its location. Radiation treatment is usually performed
and usually cures most cancers in this area.
If the cancer does not respond adequately
or is too far advanced, surgery is necessary together with chemotherapy.
If radiation treatment causes discomfort
try the following -
You may wish to speak with your naturopath
about taking anti-oxidants which have been successful in helping to fight cancerous cells.
When to seek further