Throat cancer is sometimes referred
as Head and Neck cancer but opinions are still divided about the use of this
last name. Besides the throat, Head and Neck cancer may include mouth and nose
as the term is used to denote forms of cancer that affect several mucosal
surfaces in the head and neck area. The actual interpretation is that Throat cancer
is a type of Head and neck cancer. Classifications and names also change from
country to country.
Throat cancer is the common name
that refers to cancerous tumors that begin in the pharynx, larynx or tonsils.
Accumulating cells that develop genetic mutations are the cause of these tumors.
There are certain risk factors that
increase the chance that this type of cancer may develop. These include:
Ageing. As far as it is more common in older people.
Alcoholism or excess of alcohol consumption.
Diet, poor in essential vitamins and minerals.
Long-term exposure to compounds that may irritate the throat.
presence of Human papillomavirus (HPV).
Chronic Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Family history of cancer.
Symptoms are persistent and depend
on tumor location and type but a long lasting hoarse voice, enlarged lymph node
in the neck, and a lump or sore that does not heal are among
the early symptoms. However, a hoarse voice is also a common symptom of
Throat cancer is usually classified
by its origin as follow:
Nasopharyngeal cancer begins in the part of the throat behind the nose.
Oropharyngeal cancer begins in the part of the throat right behind the mouth,
and may include the tonsils.
Laryngopharyngeal cancer begins in the lower part of the throat
Glottic cancer begins in the vocal cords.
Supraglottic cancer originates in the upper portion of the larynx, including the
Subglottic cancer begins in the lower portion of the voice box.
In general, stages of throat cancer
are as follow:
Stage I. The tumor is small and remains in a confined area of the throat.
Stage II. The tumor is still located in the throat but has grown larger.
Stage III. The cancerous cells get beyond the throat and reach nearby tissues or
Stage IV. It indicates the most advanced stage. The cancer may have spread to
lymph nodes or reach other distant organs.