When talking about throat cancer, the first thing that comes to your mind is either a mass or growth in the neck. It is definitely a sign, but severe and chronic hoarseness might also indicate the presence of throat cancer. A number of people get diagnosed with different types of the throat, head, and neck cancers every year. As the signs of throat cancer often mimic symptoms of common conditions like allergies, sinus infections, and colds, you need to consult with the best ENT specialist in Mumbai for an accurate diagnosis. He/she will advise you if a biopsy is needed. The dreaded disease is most treatable when it is diagnosed early.
What are the causes of Throat Cancer?
Seventy-five percent of the incidence of all throat, head, and neck, and throat cancers is linked to the use of tobacco and alcohol. Chewing tobacco and using it in powder form (snuff) is also no good. According to the National Cancer Institute, the risk is higher for individuals that use both alcohol and tobacco than those that use either tobacco or alcohol.
What are the risk factors of Throat Cancer?
Smoking is the biggest risk factor. Other factors include:
Drinking alcohol in excess
- Not eating fruits and vegetables in sufficient quantities
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV)
Use of e-cigarettes or vaping cannot be considered as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain substances such as nicotine and diacetyl. These substances have been linked to lung diseases. It is, therefore, that you avoid both vaping and smoking.
What are signs of Throat Cancer?
#1: Presence of a neck mass
All neck masses are not due to cancer. Strep throat, goiters, and tooth infections are also known to cause neck masses. Our ENT specialists will diagnose the exact cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.
#2: Changes in voice – Hoarseness, inability to speak
Hoarseness may be caused because of many reasons. Most of them are not linked to cancer. However, if you suffer from chronic voice problems, you must schedule an appointment with an ENT specialist for proper evaluation.
#3: Difficulty in swallowing
If you get the feeling of food getting stuck in the throat even when it is actually not the case, then you must meet a specialist. Dysphagia, difficulty in swallowing, worsens gradually reduces your ability in eating solid foods. You should meet a doctor if you experience pain when swallowing food.
#4: A sore throat
A sore throat is caused by several medical conditions. They are more common compared to the incidence of throat cancer. However, the persistence of a sore throat is a matter of concern. You must see an ENT specialist if you have a sore throat and the symptoms mentioned above.
#5: Unexplained weight loss
If you are experiencing weight loss (ten pounds or more) even without changing diet or doing exercises, it may be due to cancer.
Many of the throat cancer symptoms mentioned above could be caused by other reasons as well. However, it is a good idea to consult with a specialist in the best throat cancer hospital in Mumbai. Identification of the exact cause of the problem enables them to provide you with proper treatment at the right time.
Throat Cancer Screening – Who Are All the Right Candidates?
Simple screening tests are not there for these cancers. This is because they are difficult to diagnose without the aid of complex procedures. It is because of this reason that doctors do not recommend that you go through the routine screening tests for diagnosing cancer unless you are experiencing all the symptoms of the dreaded disease.
If our doctors believe that you need to be subjected to a screening test, they will advise the use of a special, thin, and lighted endoscope fitted with a tiny camera for the purpose of examining the area. Doctors may also examine your vocal cords using a similar procedure called laryngoscopy. If you have a neck mass, the may advise a biopsy.