Throat cancer refers to cancerous tumors that develop in your throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils. Your throat is a 5-inch-long muscular tube that begins behind your nose and ends in your neck. Your voice box sits just below your throat and is also susceptible to throat cancer. The voice box is made of cartilage and contains the vocal cords that vibrate to make sound when you talk. Throat cancer can also affect the piece of cartilage (epiglottis) that acts as a lid for your windpipe. Tonsil cancer, another form of throat cancer, affects the tonsils which are located on the back of the throat.
You can reduce your risk of throat cancer by not smoking, not chewing tobacco and limiting alcohol use. A healthy diet full of proteins, fruits and vegetables can also help you stay on track and live a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the symptoms, but not all, of throat cancer may include:
- A cough
- Changes in your voice, such as hoarseness or not speaking clearly
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain
- A lump or sore that doesn’t heal
- A sore throat
- Weight loss
The symptoms listed above are not all specific to cancer. Your doctor will likely investigate other more causes first.
To schedule an appointment and find out more about cancer treatment options for throat cancer, please contact us.