Throat cancer affects one or more parts of your throat. In most cases, it affects the voice box or the middle part of your throat. Common Fort Worth throat cancer symptoms include a sore throat and ear pain lasting more than two weeks, difficulty swallowing food, voice hoarseness, and lumps in the back of your throat, mouth, or neck. You are at a high risk of throat cancer if you smoke, have GERD, or have a certain type of human papillomavirus. Throat cancer is treatable. The treatment your specialist uses depends on the stage and location of your cancer. Here are common throat cancer treatments.
Radiation therapy involves your specialist using high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. Your specialist may use radiation therapy from a large machine outside your body or place small radioactive seeds and wires inside your body near the cancer. Radiation therapy may be effective if cancer cells have not spread to the lymph nodes.
Chemotherapy involves the use of certain drugs that help kill cancer cells. It is suitable if you have large tumors or tumors have spread to the lymph nodes. Doctors often combine it with radiation therapy when treating throat cancer.
Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight throat cancer. Cancer cells produce proteins that help them hide from your immune system cells, challenging your body to fight against the disease. Immunotherapy functions by interfering with that process. Doctors usually use immunotherapy for patients with advanced throat cancer that does not respond to standard therapies.
There are various types of throat cancer surgery, depending on the location and stage of your cancer. These surgeries include
Surgery for throat cancer
Using endoscopy, your surgeon may surgically treat throat cancers or cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes. The procedure involves your surgeon inserting a hollow endoscope into your throat, through which special surgical instruments or a laser are passed through. The surgeon uses these tools to scrape off, cut out, or vaporize very superficial cancers with a laser.
Laryngectomy removes part or all of your voice box. If you have smaller tumors, your surgeon may eliminate the affected part of your cancer, leaving as much of your voice box as possible. If you have more-extensive tumors, your surgeon may remove your entire voice box and then attach your windpipe to a hole in your throat to allow you to breathe.
A pharyngectomy removes part of your throat. If you have a smaller throat cancer, your doctor may recommend removing only a small part of your throat. After the surgery, your throat may be reconstructed to allow you to swallow food normally.
Neck dissection removes cancerous lymph nodes. If your throat cancer spreads deep within your neck, your surgeon may remove some or all of your lymph nodes to see if they contain cancer cells.
Throat cancer can affect any part of your throat, including the voice box, oropharynx, and vocal cords. Your doctor can treat throat cancer through radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or surgery. Schedule an appointment at Head & Neck Cancer Center of Texas for throat cancer treatment to alleviate throat pain.