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Throat Cancer

What Is Throat Cancer?

Throat cancer is abnormal cell growth in the region around the throat that helps you speak, swallow, and breathe. Throat cancer often begins in the flat cells that are located inside the throat but as the condition worsens, can spread to the surrounding organs. The cell growth forms malignant growths called tumor. The tumour if left untreated, can develop into cancer which can increase the risk of complications. Get in touch with us to book a consultation with our leading oncologists for early treatment.  

What are the Different Types of Throat Cancer?

There are two primary categorizations of throat cancer which are done based on the organs they affect. Pharyngeal cancer develops in the pharynx, a hollow tube that connects the nose to the esophagus (food pipe). On the other hand, Laryngeal Cancer occurs in the larynx (voice box) which sits at the bottom of the throat and contains vocal cords. Furthermore, throat cancer types are classified into the following categories - 

Pharyngeal Cancer - 

  • Nasopharynx (upper part of the throat)
  • Oropharynx (middle part of the throat)
  • Hypopharynx (bottom part of the throat)

Laryngeal Cancer

  • Glottis Cancer (part of the larynx around the vocal cords)
  • Supraglottic Cancer (part of the larynx above the vocal cords)
  • Subglottic Cancer (part of the larynx below the vocal cords)

What are the different stages of throat cancer?

If the doctor determines throat cancer, there are other tests to identify the stage and extent of the cancer. There are different stages depending on the severity and extent of the cancer. The doctor may categorize cancer into the following stages - 

  • Stage 0 - When the tumour is only on the top layer of the affected part of the throat.
  • Stage 1 - The tumour is limited to the throat.
  • Stage 2 - When the tumour has grown into a nearby area.
  • Stage 3 - The tumor has grown into other structures in the throat or spread to lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4 - The tumor has spread to the lymph nodes or distant organs. 

What are the Symptoms of Throat Cancer?

Throat cancer can develop gradually or rapidly depending on the medical health of the patient. While some people may not experience any signs which can increase the risk of complication, early treatment gives the best chance to beat cancer and ensure a good quality of life. People with throat cancer symptoms may often experience the following - 

  • Change in the voice (cracking, hoarseness, or trouble speaking clearly)
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Persistent sore throat, cough, and earache
  • Chronic headache
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Weight loss

When to see a Doctor for Throat Cancer Treatment?

Consult a doctor if your throat cancer symptoms do not improve with time and new symptoms begin to appear. Most throat cancers are usually diagnosed during regular health checkups depending on the severity of the symptoms. Book an appointment with our leading oncologists and otolaryngologists for timely treatment. 

What causes Throat Cancer?

The exact cause of cancer is not known. The primary reason for throat cancer is associated with abnormal growth of the cells in the throat due to genetic mutation. These cells grow at an uncontrollable rate and accumulate to form a tumour in the throat. While it is not clear how throat cancer causes, there are several risk factors which contribute to the progression of the tumour - 

  • Smoking or consuming tobacco products
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Improper oral hygiene

How Is Throat Cancer Diagnosed?

Since throat cancer symptoms develop gradually, the cancer is diagnosed during the regular health checkup or when the symptoms become too severe. The doctor asks about the family history and examines the medical report. Since throat cancer symptoms can mimic other conditions, the doctor may recommend several tests based on the symptoms and medical reports. Throat cancer diagnosis includes the following - 

  • Endoscopy
  • Panendoscopy
  • X-ray
  • CT scan or an MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • PET scan
  • Tissue Biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • Bone scan (if cancer has spread to the bones)

What are the Treatment Methods for Throat Cancer?

Throat Cancer treatment depends on the stage and grade of the tumor, age, and medical health of the patient. The doctor may recommend a combination of different options which can be effective in reducing cell growth. Throat Cancer treatment options include surgical intervention, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. 

  • Surgical Intervention - The doctor may suggest surgery for severe cases. The surgeon performs surgery using an endoscope through which the instruments are passed. Surgery involves removing some or major parts of the vocal cords depending on the severity of cancer. Surgical options include
  • Endoscopic Surgery
  • Cordectomy
    • Laryngectomy
    • Pharyngectomy
    • Neck Dissection
  • Radiation Therapy - The doctor may recommend radiation therapy which uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. The surgeon directs the radiation beam at the tumour to destroy the cancerous cells. Radiation therapy for throat cancer treatment includes
    • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy and 3D-conformal radiation therapy - 
    • Brachytherapy
  • Targeted Drug Therapy - Targeted drug therapy stops cell growth and prevents cancer from progressing. The procedure interferes with the specific molecule which progresses tumour growth. Common drug therapy for throat cancer treatment includes cetuximab which can be recommended as a standalone therapy or along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some medications may also be given after the surgery to reduce the chances of remission. 
  • Immunotherapy - This treatment uses certain medications which help your immune system fight cancer. and help the body fight cancer cells more effectively. Immunotherapy can be given alongside the surgery or exclusively. Immunotherapy usually involves Pembrolizumab and Nivolumab which are given intravenously every 3,4 or 6 weeks. 
  • Chemotherapy -  When the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes, the doctor may recommend chemotherapy along with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy kills or slows the growth of malignant cells.

Why Choose CMRI for Throat Cancer Treatment in Kolkata?

The Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is one of the largest multispecialty hospitals in Kolkata. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology which has revolutionized the healthcare industry for the best surgical outcomes. 

In addition, our hospital has several eminent physicians, surgeons, and healthcare providers of national and international reputations for comprehensive and personalized treatment. CMRI provides patient-centric care and empathy from internationally trained nurses to ensure holistic care for patients seeking throat cancer treatment in Kolkata. Here are a few advantages of choosing CMRI for your throat cancer treatment - 

  • Highly qualified and experienced surgeons
  • 440-bed capacity along with cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Hygienic and patient-friendly infrastructure
  • Screening and diagnosis
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate
  • Pain management and palliative care
  • Complete and coordinated care for patients with all types of cancers.

Contact our expert oncologists and ENT specialists at CMRI, Kolkata for complete throat cancer treatment.

FAQs

Whom should I consult for my throat cancer treatment?

If you are experiencing throat cancer symptoms, you must consult an oncologist or otolaryngologist. Otolaryngologists or ENT doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the ear, nose and throat. Get in touch with us to book an appointment with the leading oncologists and ENT specialists for early treatment. 
 

Can I cure throat cancer?

Yes, most people with throat cancer usually get treated if the condition is diagnosed in time. Furthermore, throat cancer treatment depends on the severity of the condition, the medical health of the patient, at which stage the cancer is detected, etc. It is important to get regular health check-ups for early detection which can increase the chances of successful treatment.

Are there any complications after the throat cancer treatment?

Depending on the health of the patient, there may be a possibility of certain complications after the throat cancer treatment - 

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in the appearance of the neck or face
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Breathing issues
  • Skin hardening around the neck

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