According to statistics, the cancer of the throat, the symptoms of which are often hidden, account for about 70% of cases of tumors of this organ. The risk group is made up of men - in oncology patients, oncology is detected more often. The number of people cured with timely therapy is 60%.
Throat cancer - causes
The cancer of the throat is accompanied by a lesion of the mucous membrane of the larynx and pharynx. In most cases, after formation, the foci begin to spread to neighboring tissues and organs. The causes of the development of pathology are numerous, therefore it is often difficult for physicians to single out a specific provoking factor. Among the possible reasons for explaining what can be cancer of the throat, doctors are more likely to:
- work in harmful production and inhalation of harmful fumes (production of varnishes and paints, chemicals);
- violation of oral hygiene;
- tumors of the head, neck;
- strong radiation exposure, radiation sickness ;
- excess of salty and smoked food in the diet, lack of vegetables and fruits.
The probability of the development of pathology significantly increases the presence of the following diseases:
- chronic inflammatory processes of the upper respiratory tract ( pharyngitis , laryngitis, sinusitis);
- neck injury;
- papillomatosis .
At what age does throat cancer occur?
Very rarely, the disease is registered in young patients. With the diagnosis of cancer of the throat, the age of the patients more often exceeds 60 years. According to statistics, this pathology is predominantly affected by men - a stronger sex often shows a predilection for nicotine and other bad habits that affect health. Almost every patient with a similar diagnosis smokes or has been under a nicotine addiction for a long time.
Types of Throat Cancer
In most cases, the throat tumor of a malignant nature is related to squamous cell carcinoma in its origin. According to oncologists' observations, more than 95% of cases occur in this form of pathology. Depending on the morphological features of the structure of the tumor, distinguish:
- highly differentiated cancer.
The first type is characterized by rapid development and the formation of a large number of metastases. The tumor actively sprouts into surrounding tissues. It occurs more often than others and is localized in the upper part of the larynx. Non-coronerous throat cancer, the photo of which is given below due to active growth leads to narrowing of the larynx, resulting in hoarseness and shortness of breath.
Throat cancer of the throat, the symptoms of which are named below, has a slow course and practically does not form metastases in other organs. The favorite place of development of the tumor is the vocal cords. With a highly differentiated type, a rapid involvement of healthy tissues into the pathological process takes place. Such a throat cancer, the symptoms of which are listed below, are difficult to treat.
Throat cancer - all symptoms
Signs of throat cancer, the time of their appearance, the severity of the symptoms are due to the localization of pathological education. Thus, with the defeat of the upper divisions among the first symptoms, patients notice pain when swallowing, prolonged pain in the throat. As an additional sign, doctors call pain in the teeth and their loss.
When a tumor forms in the lower parts, with a lesion of the larynx, patients notice a sudden change in the voice. When the voice gap is blocked, the patient can not speak at all. In severe cases, in the absence of appropriate treatment, breathing difficulties, asphyxia, threatening the patient's life are possible.
Throat cancer - the first symptoms
A sudden change in voice, hoarseness, coldness in the absence of catarrhal and inflammatory diseases are the first signs of a throat cancer. As progression develops, dysphagia - a painful sensation when swallowing food and water. Manifestations of the disease directly depend on the stage of the throat cancer. Lack of proper therapy leads to the progression of the disease and the appearance of new symptoms:
- increased cervical lymph nodes ;
- putrid odor from the mouth;
- the appearance in the saliva of blood impurities;
- cough with phlegm;
- decrease in severity of hearing (in some cases).
Throat cancer - stage 1
When the patient only develops throat cancer, symptoms in the early stages of the pathology may be absent. When assessing the disease, the nature of the tumor, doctors pay attention to:
- tumor size;
- the mobility of the vocal cords;
- metastases (number, size).
How throat cancer looks depends on the stage of the disease. At the first stage the tumor starts to increase in volume and is located above the larynx, the voice remains unchanged. Cancer cells are found in the glottis, but the ligaments are still able to function normally. The size of the tumor is small - a sore a few millimeters in diameter. Atypical cells are present in the mucous membrane of the larynx.
Throat cancer - Stage 2
In the second stage, throat cancer (symptoms in the early stages may be absent) makes itself felt by changing the voice. The pathological process captures the larynx. In the epiglottis, doctors detect more than one focus, in addition, foci of pathology appear in neighboring tissues. As a result, the normal movement of the vocal cords is disturbed, which causes the characteristic symptoms: hoarseness, wheezing. Gradually, the tumor can completely capture the larynx, but there are no metastases in the lymph nodes.
Throat cancer - stage 3
At this stage, the throat cancer, the signs and symptoms of which do not differ from those mentioned above, seizes completely the larynx and surrounding tissues. Vocal cords can not normally move, so a complete loss of voice occurs. Atypical cells appear directly in the tissues of the larynx. During the diagnosis, doctors detect inflamed lymph nodes on the neck from the side of the tumor. The diameter of the lymph node can reach a diameter of 3 cm.
Throat cancer - stage 4
With such an oncological disease, like throat cancer, the last stage of the disease is accompanied by total defeat of the larynx and pharynx. The pathological process passes to the upper respiratory tract. Tumors and its metastases can spread to the tissues of the neck, the trachea, the thyroid gland, in some cases penetrate the upper parts of the digestive system - affect the esophagus. Lymph nodes significantly increase in volume. Their diameter reaches 6 cm. These changes disrupt the digestive and respiratory systems.
Throat cancer - diagnosis
Diagnosis of throat cancer is based on a comprehensive examination of the pharynx, larynx. The first signs of pathology can be detected with laryngoscopy. This method helps to examine the larynx with the help of special equipment - a laryngoscope. During the procedure, the doctor evaluates the vocal folds, larynx, pharynx and oral cavity. With laryngoscopy, it is possible to take a tissue sample for subsequent biopsy - a histological study that determines the presence of cancer cells, their concentration.
For the diagnosis of throat cancer, the symptoms of which during the examination may be absent, the following methods are additionally used:
- computed tomography (CT);
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Throat cancer - prognosis
With such a disease as a throat cancer, how many patients live - this question interests patients the most. Doctors do not give an unambiguous answer. Modern diagnostic technologies do not allow us to accurately determine at what speed a tumor will develop, which tissues and organs will be involved in the pathological process.
The forecasts made by physicians are based on the data of clinical observations, the analysis of changes occurring with patients suffering from throat cancer, the symptoms of which can in some cases be modified. The main factors considered by doctors in assessing pathology are:
- stage of tumor;
- the amount of damage;
- number of affected organs;
- depth of penetration of the tumor;
- age of the patient;
- number of metastases.
Is it possible to cure a throat cancer?
If treatment of throat cancer is started at an early stage, the probability of excluding pathology is great. The basis of therapy is surgical intervention. The method of operation, its volume is determined taking into account the characteristics and clinical manifestations of the disease. Excellent results show the technique of laser tumor removal in the early stages of cancer. Operative intervention is used more often on 1-2 stages of the disease. In the case of pathology, 3-4 stages use chemo- and radiotherapy . These techniques slow the tumor process, improve the overall well-being of the patient, prolong his life.
Throat cancer - survival prognosis
As noted above, no expert is able to predict how the malignant throat swelling will yield to therapy or will progress confidently, even with the treatment being carried out. Specialists can only assume what will happen to the patient, on the basis of clinical manifestations and the state of his health. In this case, we must not forget that each organism is individual, therefore deviations from the forecast can be observed.
If you take into account statistics that are collected for several years, patients with stage 1 throat cancer live 5 years after being diagnosed in 85% of cases. The five-year survival rate among patients with stage 4 pathology is 20%. The determining factor may be laryngectomy - an operation to remove the vocal cords. This surgical intervention prolongs the life of the patient, stops the spread of the tumor. But in practice, not all patients agree to its implementation.