10 Common Throat Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Cancer is abnormal multiplication and division of cells. These cells become malignant and form tumour cells. Throat cancer includes many different types of cancer under the head and neck umbrella. Throat cancer is relatively uncommon as compared to other cancers. The most common types of throat cancer are Laryngeal cancer and pharyngeal cancer. Pharyngeal cancer is of three types:
1. Nasopharynx – Forms upper part of the throat
2. Oropharynx – Forms middle part of the throat
3. Hypopharynx – Forms bottom part of the throat
Laryngeal cancer refers to cancer that forms in the larynx, also known as the voice box. These cancers are further of two main types:
1. Squamous cell carcinoma: these are basically flat cells that line the throat.
2. Adenocarcinoma: These are glandular cells of the throat.
Throat cancer is relatively uncommon when compared to other cancers.
Let’s check out the causes
The exact cause of cancer cells is not known. It is seen that the cancer cells have a different and damaged gene which alters the function of the cell. Due to this alteration, the cell behaves abnormally.
Few reasons which could increase the risk of throat cancers are:
1. Poor dental care
2. Vitamin A deficiency: It is seen that people who suffer from throat cancer are deficient of Vit A. So to rule out this risk, make sure you have good levels of Vit A.
3. Smoking: Cigarettes have carcinogens which can lead to oral cancer.
4. Asbestos exposure: Asbestos is a fibrous material which is used in the construction of buildings. When inhaled due to the pollution around us, the body has significant difficulty expelling these fibers, which can trigger more than a dozen health complications, including cancer. 5. Excess alcohol consumption
5. Human papillomavirus (HPV) Infection: This infection increases risk of oropharyngeal cancer
6. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Chronic GERD can result in throat cancer. It depends on the severity and frequency of the acid reflux.
10 Throat cancer symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
1. A change in your voice, hoarseness
If you feel there is some change is voice or it is getting difficult to talk, do ask your doctor for help.
2. Trouble swallowing
If you feel swallowing is difficult, it is time to get your throat checked.
3. Unexplained weight loss
If suddenly you start losing weight without following a restrictive diet, find an explanation for the weight loss.
4. Sore throat
If your throat is always bothering you, please approach an ENT specialist.
5. Constant need to clear your throat
If you feel any lump or something is obstructing your throat and you have to continuously keep it clearing, it might be time to seek help.
6. Persistent cough
Coughs due to some infection or weather change is common. But if you have a chronic cough with no reason, please get yourself diagnosed.
7. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
This is a big symptom and it is essential for you to approach your ENT specialist.
8. Swelling of the eyes, jaw, throat or neck
Swelling in these areas is not common. So do not ignore such swellings.
9. Ear pain
Many of us do not connect ear pain with some problem in the throat. But ear pain is also one of the biggest symptoms of throat cancer
10. Bleeding in the mouth or through the nose
Above symptoms are common, but are also usually ignored. If the problem stays more than 1 week, make sure you visit your doctor and discuss the further line of treatment. Chances to treat cancer completely are much higher if it is diagnosed at early stage. So do not mislead yourself with your own diagnosis. Let the specialist do their job.
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