Throat cancer is a cancerous tumor in the pharynx, larynx, or tonsils. Risk factors for getting throat cancer include tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, HPV, a poor diet, or GERD.
Risk Factors of Throat Cancer
Men are more likely to develop throat cancer than women. Certain lifestyle habits increase the risk of developing cancer of the throat, including:
- excessive alcohol consumption
- vitamin A deficiency
- exposure to asbestos
- poor dental hygiene
Throat cancer is also associated with certain types of human papillomavirus infections (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. HPV infection is a risk factor for certain oropharyngeal cancers, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Contact your doctor if you have concerns or have the following symptoms that could be a sign of throat cancer:
- A cough or sore throat
- Changes in your voice
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain
- A lump or sore
- Weight loss
Avoid using tobacco, drinking alcohol, and eating or drinking anything that causes irritation.
Treatment for Throat Cancer in Leander TX
Throat cancer treatments can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeting drug therapy. Your doctor will suggest the appropriate treatment based on the size, stage, and location of the tumor.
If the tumor in your throat is small, your doctor may surgically remove the tumor. This surgery is done in the hospital while you’re under sedation. Your doctor may recommend one of the following surgical procedures:
- Laryngectomy: This procedure removes all or a portion of your voice box, depending on severity of the cancer. Some people can speak normally after surgery, but some people must learn how to speak without a voice box.
- Pharyngectomy: This procedure removes a part of your throat.
- Neck dissection: If throat cancer spreads within the neck, your doctor may remove some of your lymph nodes.
Talk with Scott W. Franklin, MD at Georgetown-ENT, located near Austin TX to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and determine the best treatment option.