Talking hoarse?! Could be more than a Sore Throat! Could be early signs of Throat Cancer!
You must never avoid the early signs and symptoms of throat cancer. Cancer caught at an early stage has better chance of getting cured than at later stage.
Many of us live in a happy illusion that cancer can never happen to us. We still do believe that it is a rare disease and happens to only those who have a disturbed lifestyle. My dear friend, who doesn’t have a disturbed lifestyle these days? All of us have it.
Our food habits, sleeping habits and amount of physical activities depend upon our working hours and styles. With the fast paced modern life, it is nearly impossible to maintain a healthy and proper lifestyle. In fact, many of us don’t actually know that we are living an unhealthy life.
Don’t worry! Just be alert
My idea is not to induce fear in your mind but just to make you more aware and alert about the early signs and symptoms of throat cancer. Keeping a vigil and being precautious can help you stay healthy in a long run.
If we divide it on the basis of gender, men are more prone to throat cancer. However, the better part is if not considered rare, most of the throat cancers can be treated. The person must be aware of the symptoms indicating to the cancer of mouth and throat and should consult a doctor immediately if the problem persists for more than 3 weeks continuously.
Early signs of throat cancer
Throat cancer generally occurs painlessly giving no clue to the victim of its occurrence. Early signs of throat cancer include swelling and inflammation in the throat area and soreness.
Throat cancer can be classified into two types: Pharyngeal cancer and Laryngeal cancer.
Pharynx is a tube present on the rear side of the nose to the beginning of trachea (windpipe). If the cancer cells are present in the pharynx, they show their symptoms with an inflammation in the upper area of the throat.
The voice becomes hoary and remains the same for many days continuously. Person suffers from sore throat and hoariness in voice.
The person may also experience difficulty in swallowing food which may increase to even intake of simple liquids.
As the pharynx is present near the nose, the person suffers from breathing difficulties and is constantly troubled during breathing.
It is highly recommended to consult a doctor if any of these symptoms persist for a long time and don’t fade away with basic medication and home remedies.
Coughing up blood, trouble swallowing and swollen lymph nodes are some of the advanced symptoms of pharyngeal throat cancer.
You may also experience trouble in swallowing (dysphagia) to an extent that you may not even be able to breathe properly.
Weight loss can also be one of the symptoms of advanced stage of cancer.
Pharyngeal cancer can begin with common ear pain that will continue for a long time.
Measures and Precautions
Look out for basic symptoms and don’t neglect them if they persist for long time. They are generally painless so be careful about what’s wrong happening in your body. Also, when the advanced symptoms are diagnosed, don’t get panicked and treat yourself accordingly.
You need to change your habits if you are an ardent smoker. Alcohol intake should also be regulated if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Habits that induce Pharyngeal Cancer:
- Smoking cigarettes and cigars (more than two packs a day) are harmful and may lead to throat cancer.
- Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the major causes of throat cancer.
- Vitamin A deficiency also leads to throat cancer.
- Exposure to asbestos and poor dental hygiene is also some of the causes.
This cancer occurs in the voice box of the person, in the tissues of the lump known as larynx. Symptoms of this cancer may begin with sore throat and bleeding in the cough. Laryngeal cancer affects the voice and the area near the tonsils.
Early Symptoms of Layrngeal Cancer
The early symptoms of laryngeal cancer include:
- Hoariness in the voice
- Swelling in the vocal cords and voice box
- Continuous tonsillitis for more than 28 days
- Constant pain in speaking and inhaling
- Soreness in the throat and constant irritation
Advanced symptoms of laryngeal cancer
When this cancer advances you may experience a change in your voice, soreness and disturbance. Some people may also experience unexplainable weight-loss.
Regular voice choking, hoariness and pain are the major symptoms of laryngeal cancer. As this cancer affects the voice box, the person may experience difficulties in speaking and even whispering. The defected cells may affect the larynx and adjacent areas resulting in inflammation and soreness.
Throat cancer if not treated on time can spread to other parts of the body, especially lungs. All you need to do is keep a check on the behaviour of your throat and any kind of change in your voice.
Measures and Precautions
Apart from quitting smoking and alcohol intake, one should also protect himself/herself from HPV (Human papillomavirus). It is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause throat cancer. Limit your number of sexual partners and always use a condom while having sex. Vaccines are also available for HPV.
After saying it all, below I am answering a few most frequently asked questions related to oral cancer of any kind. Take a look:
Q: What is the most vulnerable age of contracting cancer?
A: Going by the researches, there is no exact age to contract throat cancer, it can occur to anybody of any age. However, excessive smoking and alcohol intake may drastically increase the chances of contracting the disease, so the rate is high amongst men in between the age of 30-40 years.
Throat cancer may also strike you at a later age when your body starts retiring and your immune system becomes weaker.
Q: What does a lump in the throat mean? Do I have throat cancer?
A: Throat cancer generally starts off painlessly so you don’t realise the early symptoms. Persistent lump in the throat for more than a month is a sign of high alert. You should consult your doctor immediately.
Any difficulty in swallowing and constant irritation in the throat should also not be ignored.
Q: What are the potential symptoms of throat cancer?
A: Any symptom can be a potential symptom of throat cancer. If you experience a change in your voice for more than two weeks, difficulty in swallowing, even liquids and irritation in the throat are some of the basic symptoms.
Q: How can I prevent oral cancer?
A: Early diagnosis may help you treating your cancer in a better way. However, prevention is always better than cure so what you need to do before contracting any of these life-threatening diseases is to follow a healthy life-style, eat a lot of fruits and raw vegetables, and refrain from smoking and alcohol intake.
This will help you fight any signs of cancer and will keep you healthy and fit.
Q: Can you cure throat cancer?
A: Most of the times, throat cancer is curable and one gets absolutely well after proper treatment. Post-treatment precautions include speech therapies, follow ups and medications.
Q: How do you get oral cancer?
A: If you are a smoker and consume alcohol excessively, you may be at a greater risk of contracting throat cancer.
HPV (Human papillomavirus), transmitted through sex is also highly responsible for throat cancer. Irregular food habits and disturbed lifestyle can ultimately lead to oral cancer.
Q: Can dry mouth be a sign of cancer?
A: Dry mouth for a long time can be a sign of cancer if it is accompanied by difficulty in swallowing and a constant irritation in the throat. Symptoms of dry throat and dry cough are mostly observed in people who have habits of smoking continuously for many hours a day.
Any kind of tobacco intake, not only smoking, may lead to throat cancer. Also, throat cancer caused by tobacco intake has less chances of getting treated unlike the cancer caused by other habits.
A step towards a healthy life
The sole purpose of this article was to educate you and make you more aware about the symptoms and signs of throat cancer.
The information shared in this article is strictly general, it is based on medical researches and facts but should not be considered as a medical recommendation. The symptoms and the precautions have been picked up from various medicinal resources and are verified.
However, no particular drug, medicine or any other form of treatment has been directly suggested anywhere in the article. All the medications and necessary drugs should be taken after consultation from medical experts only.
It is highly recommended to consult an authorised medical practitioner before following any precaution or medication on your own.
Remember, cancer is not a distant unimaginable disease which never happens to common people. It’s all around us and any one of us can become a victim of it so be cautious and alert. Improve your lifestyle, adapt yoga and meditation, give up on smoking and alcohol, regularise your work routine and above of all, love yourself.