Risk factors – Certain factors may increase your risk of developing throat cancer:

smoking tobacco drinking alcohol moderately or heavilyhaving human papillomavirus (HPV) (increases risk of oropharynx cancer)being overweighthaving a family history of throat cancerbeing exposed to certain environmental factorsbeing over the age of 65

Smoking combined with moderate or heavy drinking is the greatest risk factor for developing throat cancer. Cancer needs to be diagnosed by a medical doctor and involves several types of diagnostic tests. You shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor with any concerning symptoms, as the earlier cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat.

a thorough medical history and physical exam, with special attention on the areas around your neck, head, and lymph nodes a referral to an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT), a physician who specializes in conditions affecting the neck and head laryngoscopy, which involves a thin, flexible tube that goes in your nose and down your throat to view your throat areaa biopsy, where tissue from a suspected tumor is extracted and then carefully examined in a lab for cancerous cells CAT scans, MRIs, X-rays, and PET scans to look inside the body to see if there are tumors in certain areas or to see if cancer has spread

There are five stages of throat cancer, starting with stage 0 and ending with stage 4. The stages refer to how much cancer is in your body and how far it has spread. Stage 0 is referred to as carcinoma in situ (CIS), and means that precancerous cells were found.

Stage 1 is the first stage of throat cancer, and it means that the cancer is localized to the particular area where it began, such as your upper, middle, or lower throat, or your voice box. It has not yet spread to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. Cancer is easier to manage and treat when it is in the earlier stages and hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of your body.

Again, this is why you should see your doctor if you have any persistent symptoms that you’re concerned about. The treatment plan for throat cancer will depend on the type of throat cancer you have, your overall health, and how far the cancer has spread.

surgery to remove the cancerous growth or tumors radiation therapy, which uses high intensity X-ray beams to kill cancer cells chemotherapy, which uses anticancer medications to kill cancer cells targeted therapy, which uses medication that targets proteins that cause cancer cells to divide and multiply

Throat cancers are cancers that affect different parts of your throat and voice box. They are most often caused by smoking, but other factors can contribute, including genetic factors and lifestyle choices. Symptoms of throat cancer can resemble other common diseases, and many people suspect that they have throat cancer when they don’t.

What does Stage 1 throat cancer look like?

A Lump in the Throat – A primary tumor of the throat can appear as a nodular mass on the floor of the mouth, tongue, tonsil, or wall of the throat. The mass will tend to be irregular, fixed, and relatively painless, but can interfere with swallowing and make you feel like you have something caught in your throat. This is most common in people with a long history of smoking.

What is the best way to detect throat cancer?

How is throat cancer diagnosed? – Diagnosis of throat cancer typically begins with a physical exam conducted by your doctor to check for any signs of abnormality, such as a sore or lump in your mouth or swollen lymph nodes in your neck. Your doctor might also conduct an endoscopy, a procedure using a small camera and light.

Is early throat cancer painful?

Most people who are diagnosed with throat cancer won’t see anything unusual if they look in the mirror, open their mouths and say, “Ahhhh.” “That’s because there’s usually not much to see,” says head and neck surgeon Miriam Lango, M.D. “These tumors are often buried deep in the throat, or hidden under the surface of the tissue.

Asymmetry : when one side looks odd or just noticeably different from the other Lesions : might appear as red or white patches Swelling : may or may not involve lesions

Throat cancers are usually found in the oropharynx, which includes the tonsils, the uvula (the small structure dangling in the middle), the soft palate, and the hind-most portion of the tongue, which is not visible without a scope. But they can also develop in the larynx ( voice box ) and the nasopharynx (the area behind the nose).

The most common symptom of throat cancer is actually a painless mass on the side of the neck. “Normally, it doesn’t hurt,” notes Lango. “But it’s there for longer than it should be, it’s only on one side, and it’s too large to be a swollen lymph node,” Rarely, patients may report pain in the back of the throat or difficulty swallowing,

But most have no symptoms at all, and are very surprised to hear that they have throat cancer. Throat cancer and HPV: the viral connection Almost all throat cancers that doctors see at MD Anderson are squamous cell carcinomas. Roughly 80% of them are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, though this figure may be lower at other hospitals.

I can’t even remember the last time I saw a throat cancer that wasn’t HPV-positive,” says Lango. “Before the year 2000, we hardly saw any at all. Now, we’re seeing a ton. It really is an epidemic.” That’s why Lango encourages everyone ages 9-26 to get vaccinated against HPV, The HPV vaccine is most effective when given at ages 11-12.

But unvaccinated men and women ages 27-45 should talk to their doctors about the benefits of receiving the vaccine. “The amount of throat cancer caused by tobacco has dropped exponentially in the last 20 years,” Lango notes. “That’s partially because people aren’t smoking as much as they used to.

But if we could get more young people vaccinated against HPV now, that would really go a long way toward reducing future cases of throat cancer.” Know your throat cancer treatment options Whether a throat cancer is related to HPV or not, it’s important to seek treatment for it at a comprehensive cancer center like MD Anderson,

“A lot of people just go with the first thing they’re offered, not realizing there are other options,” says Lango. “That’s why it’s critical to get a second opinion, at the very least.” One reason is that many patients will survive for years after a throat cancer diagnosis,

That means they may have to live for decades with the side effects of their treatments, such as dry mouth or difficulty swallowing, “Both of these issues can affect your quality of life and your ability to enjoy food,” Lango says. “So, it’s very worthwhile to make sure you’re getting the right treatment.” Throat cancer treatment With early stage throat cancers, surgery alone might be all that’s needed.

With more advanced cases, patients will likely be offered some combination of chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiation therapy, “In the old days, everybody got chemotherapy and radiation,” notes Lango. “But trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS) has become a very effective tool to treat some patients.

  • The survival rate is just phenomenal.” Options to reduce the intensity of treatments — and potentially decrease long-term side effects by participating in “de-escalation” clinical trials — may also be available.
  • Studies may incorporate immunotherapy or highly targeted proton therapy,
  • Some treatments are conducted through clinical trials because they’re promising, but not yet the standard of care,” says Lango.

“But some of our patients’ responses were very good. So, the way we treat patients now may not be the same way we treat patients in a couple of years. And classical chemo has been such a mainstay of throat cancer treatment for so long, that not needing to have it is kind of a big deal.” Request an appointment at MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.

What age is throat cancer common?

Most people diagnosed with laryngeal cancer are 55 or older ; a very small number of people diagnosed are younger than 55. The average age of people diagnosed with laryngeal cancer is about 66. Black men are more likely to develop laryngeal cancer than White men and are more likely to die from it.

When should I start worrying about throat cancer?

Early warning signs of throat cancer – The most common early warning sign of throat cancer is a persistent sore throat. The American Cancer Society recommends that anyone with a sore throat that lasts for more than two weeks see a doctor immediately.

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When should you suspect throat cancer?

What are throat cancer symptoms? – Throat cancer includes several types of cancer that can affect different parts of your throat in different ways. Some common throat cancer symptoms include:

A sore throat that lasts for more than two weeks. Pain or difficulty swallowing food ( dysphagia ). Changes in your voice, like hoarseness, that last more than two weeks. Lumps in the back of your throat or mouth, Lumps in your neck, including the back of your neck. Ear pain that lasts more than two weeks.

Having these symptoms doesn’t mean you have throat cancer. Many times, these symptoms are signs of other less serious conditions. If you have a symptom that lasts two weeks or more, talk to your healthcare provider so they can find out what’s causing it.

Can early throat cancer be cured?

Outlook (Prognosis) – Throat cancers may be cured when detected early. If the cancer has not spread ( metastasized ) to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in the neck, about one half of patients can be cured. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and parts of the body outside the head and neck, the cancer is not curable.

  1. Treatment is aimed at prolonging and improving quality of life.
  2. It is possible but not fully proven that cancers which test positive for HPV may have better outlooks.
  3. Also, people who smoked for less than 10 years may do better.
  4. After treatment, therapy is needed to help with speech and swallowing.
  5. If the person is not able to swallow, a feeding tube will be needed.

The recurrence risk in people with throat cancer is highest during the first 2 to 3 years of diagnosis. Regular follow-up after the diagnosis and treatment is very important to increase the chances of survival.

Can a 30 year old get throat cancer?

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I know HPV can cause cervical cancer, but recently I’ve heard it also can lead to throat cancer. How common is throat cancer caused by HPV? How effective is treatment for it? ANSWER: HPV can cause a form of cancer in the back of the throat.

  1. Currently, the number of cases of this type of throat cancer is growing rapidly.
  2. Because it usually doesn’t cause symptoms right away, the cancer typically isn’t detected until it has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
  3. When it’s found at that point, it often can be cured.
  4. And, fortunately, this cancer can be prevented with the HPV vaccine,

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. Although most cases of HPV don’t cause symptoms or lead to problems, certain strains of HPV can cause cancer. Two strains of HPV cause 70% of all cervical cancer. HPV infections also can lead to other genital and anal cancers in females, as well as penile and anal cancer in males.

  • In addition, HPV can cause throat cancer.
  • The increasing incidence of throat cancer related to HPV is turning it into one of the fastest growing types of cancer being diagnosed today.
  • The reason for the increase is unclear, but both men and women are at risk.
  • This cancer tends to appear most often in two age groups: first in people in their 30s and 40s, and then again in people in their 60s and 70s.

Early symptoms of HPV throat cancer are uncommon. Most people don’t get an evaluation until the disease has spread to lymph nodes, and they find a lump just below the jawline in the upper neck. Occasionally, people may have the sensation of something stuck in their throat or a lump in their throat that doesn’t go away, and that triggers an evaluation and leads to diagnosis.

  • As awareness of HPV-related throat cancer rises, it’s becoming more common for it to be detected during a dental visit.
  • Many dentists now look and feel for tumors when they do their exams.
  • Because these tumors tend to be under the surface of the skin, they can’t be seen easily.
  • But if a dentist feels the back of the tongue and the floor of the mouth, the tumors usually can be detected because they have a distinctive acorn-like feel to them.

Throat cancer caused by HPV is highly treatable, even when it’s spread to nearby lymph nodes. Typically, the first step in treatment is removing the tumor and any affected lymph nodes. That often can be accomplished with a minimally invasive procedure called transoral robotic surgery that’s performed through the mouth.

If a patient has other factors that complicate the diagnosis, such as a tumor that has spread along nerves or outside the capsule of the lymph nodes, focused radiation therapy may be recommended. In some cases, a less-toxic form of chemotherapy can be used to destroy cancer cells left behind after surgery.

Using a carefully targeted approach can help eliminate the cancer while minimizing the long-term side effects that can accompany treatment of head and neck cancers, such as difficulty with swallowing, eating and speaking; dry mouth; and neck stiffness and pain.

After treatment, the outlook for people with HPV-related throat cancer is excellent. More than 95% of these tumors are cured with early detection and treatment. It’s important to recognize, too, that this cancer can be prevented with the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine has proven to be a safe and effective way to prevent HPV infection.

That, in turn, protects against cancers caused by HPV, including HPV-related throat cancer. The vaccine has been shown to be most effective when it’s given to children between the ages of 9 and 14, but adults also can get the vaccine for some protection from HPV infection.

Mayo Clinic Minute: Why your preteen needs the HPV vaccine published 8/19/19 Living With Cancer: HPV and cancer in men published 7/19/19 Why you need to get the HPV vaccine now: Mayo Clinic Radio Health Minute published 7/2/19 Rise of HPV-related throat and mouth cancer: Mayo Clinic Radio Health Minute published 3/27/19 Living With Cancer: How does HPV cause cervical cancer? published 2/22/19 Mayo Clinic Minute: Why you need to get the HPV vaccine now published 2/7/19 Living With Cancer: Throat cancer — risk factors and prevention published 8/31/18 Mayo Clinic Minute: The rise of HPV-related throat cancer published 7/18/18 Living With Cancer: Understanding throat cancer published 12/22/17 Halving radiation therapy for HPV-related throat cancer offers fewer side effects and similar outcomes, Mayo study finds published 9/25/17 Mayo Clinic Q and A: Throat cancer symptoms published 6/20/17

How rare is throat cancer?

02 How Common Is Throat Cancer? – Throat cancers are fairly rare when compared to all cancer diagnoses. In 2021, cancer of the larynx represented 0.7% of all new cancer cases and 0.6% of all cancer deaths. An estimated 12,470 new cases of laryngeal cancer will be diagnosed in 2022.3,820 people are projected to die from laryngeal cancer in 2022. Approximately 54,010 adults in America will be diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer, with men facing rates twice as high as women. Considered rare, laryngeal cancer is the 22nd most common cancer in America. An estimated 3,000 people in the U.S.

Can you survive throat cancer?

What is the survival rate for hypopharyngeal cancer? – Like laryngeal cancer, the survival rates for hypopharyngeal cancer vary based on the stage of cancer, a person’s age and general health, how well the treatment plan works, and other factors. The 5-year relative survival rate for hypopharyngeal cancer in the United States is 37%.

  • If the cancer is found at an early, localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate of people with hypopharyngeal cancer is 61%.
  • If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 39%.
  • If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 28%.

Hypopharyngeal cancer is often found at a more advanced stage because early symptoms often do not occur. Laryngeal cancer often will cause hoarseness or coughing up blood, which can lead to an earlier diagnosis. Experts measure relative survival rate statistics for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer every 5 years.

This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics, Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2023, the ACS website, the International Agency for Research on Cancer website, the National Cancer Institute website, and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

(All sources accessed February 2023.) The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations, It offers drawings of body parts often affected by laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.

Can you live 10 years with throat cancer?

Survival for all stages – There are only statistics available for men. This is because so few women are diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. Generally for men with cancer of the larynx in England:

around 85 out of every 100 (around 85%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or morearound 65 out of every 100 (around 65%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or morearound 55 out of every 100 (around 55%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more

These statistics are for people diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in England between 2009 and 2013. Net survival and the probability of cancer death from rare cancers P Muller and others Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2016 These statistics are for net survival.

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Is throat cancer hard or soft?

What does it feel like to have a throat cancer lump? – The sensation of a lump in the throat is called globus. Globus can have many different causes, including acid reflux, allergic rhinitis and throat cancer. A throat cancer lump is usually firm.

Can a 20 year old get throat cancer?

Age – As with most cancers, laryngeal cancer is more common in older people than younger people. There are very few cases in people under 40 years of age.

Can a 20 year old get oral cancer?

As director of MD Anderson’s Oral Cancer Prevention Clinic, I see many patients each year with both oral cancers and pre-cancerous conditions. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 95% of oral cancers, which, unlike oropharyngeal cancers, are not related to the human papillomavirus (HPV),

  • One thing I’ve noticed is how many patients express the same reasons for not having their oral lesions looked at sooner.
  • None of them are based in fact, but all of them are based on misinformation.
  • Here are four myths I hear the most often, and why you shouldn’t believe them, either.
  • Myth #1: It doesn’t hurt, so I don’t need to worry about it.

Fact: Most people who find white splotches in their mouths will never develop oral cancer. But it’s still a good idea to have them checked out. One of the most common symptoms of oral cancer is something called “leukoplakia,” or white spots in the mouth.

  1. Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous lesion indicating an increased risk of developing oral cancer one day.
  2. When I first meet some patients, they’ll say, “Well, I’ve had this spot on my tongue or cheek or gums for a while now, but it didn’t hurt, so I figured it was harmless.” Actually, the opposite is often true.

If a sore in your mouth hurts, it’s usually because you bit, scraped or burned yourself somehow, or you have a little viral infection. Normally, these types of things clear up on their own in a couple of weeks. But if a sore doesn’t hurt — and doesn’t heal within a few weeks — that’s when you need to worry.

  1. Because cancer is not usually painful at early stages.
  2. And it doesn’t heal spontaneously.
  3. Myth #2: I don’t smoke or use tobacco, so I can’t get oral cancer.
  4. Fact: More than half of my patients have no history of tobacco use of any kind.
  5. Just as anyone with lungs can get lung cancer, anyone with a mouth can develop oral cancer.

And while it’s true that tobacco use significantly increases the odds that you will develop oral cancer, it’s not the only possible cause. In fact, many doctors who treat oral cancers have started noticing a curious phenomenon: there seem to be two peaks in the occurrence of oral cancers among women with no history of smoking.

One is of tongue cancer in women around age 40. The other is of gum cancer in women in their late 70s and early 80s. But no one really knows why. One thing that gives me hope is a clinical trial being led by Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D. She’s been treating patients with oral cancer with a combination of chemotherapy and an immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab.

And, some of her patients have seen a complete response. That means when surgeons went to operate on their tumors, there wasn’t any cancer left to remove. That’s pretty amazing. Myth #3: I’m too young to get oral cancer. Fact: Cancer tends to develop in older people, so it’s unusual to see oral cancers in someone younger than age 40.

  • But it’s not impossible.
  • That’s why it’s so important to get anything odd checked out, even if you think you’re too young to have cancer.
  • Sometimes, even doctors don’t believe someone in their 20s or 30s could have cancer.
  • They just keep throwing antibiotics at the problem.
  • I’ve also seen more patients coming in with larger cancerous tumors lately, because they’ve put off seeing a doctor or dentist due to COVID-19 restrictions,

But cancers are easiest to treat when they’re diagnosed early, and here at MD Anderson, we’re taking every possible step to ensure the health and safety of our patients while they’re on our campuses. Myth #4: My oral cancer is gone now, so I don’t have to worry anymore.

A sore that won’t heal — most minor cuts and scrapes in the mouth will resolve on their own within a few weeks; but if one doesn’t, get it checked out A lump or a bump — especially if it’s growing large A red or white patch — especially if it bleeds when you touch it Loose teeth — sometimes caused by cancer of the gums Problems speaking, chewing or swallowing — once a tumor gets big enough, it may hurt to eat or speak, or you might not be able to move your tongue well enough to chew or swallow Unexpected weight loss — often caused by problems chewing and swallowing

The most important thing to look for is changes over time, such as a white spot changing to red, a small spot growing larger, a spot bleeding when it didn’t used to, or a lump or bump becoming painful when it wasn’t before. Those are the things you want to investigate. Request an appointment at MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.

How fast does throat cancer grow?

Professor Christopher Nutting explains that throat cancers will develop steadily in an individual patient once the tumour has developed. Cancers will double in size about every two to three months, which is quite quick compared to other tumour types.

How long can throat cancer go untreated?

Approximately 50% of untreated head and neck cancer patients will die within 4 months of their diagnosis. However, the remaining patients can survive up to 4 or more years, depending on their tumour location, extent, performance status and level of supportive care.

Is throat cancer easily detected?

For now, there is no screening test to find laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers early. These cancers are often hard to find and diagnose without complex tests.

Where does throat cancer usually start?

One of the challenges in medicine is that so many illnesses share the same symptoms. A plain sore throat or a cough usually isn’t a big deal. More often than not, they go away on their own. But sometimes, they’re symptoms of something more serious, like throat cancer,

Throat cancers grow in the organs that help you swallow, speak, and breathe, About half of these cancers happen in the throat itself, the tube that starts behind your nose and ends in your neck. It’s also called the “pharynx.” The rest start in the voice box, or “larynx.” These diseases tend to grow quickly.

That’s why getting treated early on gives you the best chance to beat them and keep a good quality of life. Learn as much as you can so you’ll know what to expect. You may have:

Voice changes like cracking, hoarseness, or trouble speaking clearlyTrouble swallowing or breathingA feeling like something’s caught in your throatA sore throat, cough (possibly with blood ), or earache that won’t go awayA headachePain in your ears or neckA neck lump or soreness that doesn’t go awayUnexplained weight loss

See your doctor right away if any symptoms last for more than a few weeks. But keep in mind that many conditions that aren’t cancer have these same symptoms. You get throat cancer when some cells in your throat get a change in their genes. Doctors aren’t sure what causes this change, but these things can make it more likely: Using tobacco for a long time.

  • Smoking it and chewing it are the biggest risk factors for all head and neck cancers, including throat cancer.
  • Drinking heavily and regularly.
  • That means more than two drinks of alcohol a day if you’re a man or more than one a day if you’re a woman.
  • You drive up your risk even more if you drink and you smoke.

HPV, Human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked to cancers in the back of the throat, including tongue and tonsil cancers. You can help protect your kids from it in the future by having your children get the HPV vaccines. Kids should start the series of shots between 11 and 12 years old.

Gender. Men are five times more likely to get it than women. Age. Most people get diagnosed after 65. Race. African American men are at the biggest risk. Chemical exposure. This includes being around asbestos, nickel, and sulfuric acid fumes. Diet. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables

Most types grow in the flat, thin cells that line the throat and voice box. The two main types of throat cancer are:

Pharyngeal cancer, Your throat (pharynx) is a tube that runs from your nose to your esophagus, Your esophagus carries food from the bottom of your throat to your stomach, Laryngeal cancer. Your voice box (larynx) sits at the bottom of your throat and contains your vocal cords.

Doctors break these groups down even further, identifying them by where they are. Pharyngeal cancer may happen in your:

Nasopharynx, This is the upper part of your throat behind your nose. In the U.S., cancer here is rare. Oropharynx, This part is behind your mouth. Cancer is most likely to grow in the tonsils, the back of the tongue, or the soft palate (the soft area behind the roof of your mouth ). Hypopharynx, That’s the narrow area behind your voice box.

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Cancer can grow in the three parts of the voice box itself. Laryngeal cancer may happen in your:

Glottis, This holds your vocal cords. Supraglottis, This is the area above the glottis (including cancer of the epiglottis, which is like a flexible lid to your windpipe). Subglottis, This is the area below your vocal cords and above your windpipe.

Oral sex is linked to throat cancer. There are well over 100 kinds of HPV. About 40 of them can spread if you have sexual contact with another person’s genitals, mouth, or throat. You can get oral HPV from oral sex. The infection goes away for most people in 1 or 2 years.

But it doesn’t always leave your system and can cause oropharyngeal cancer years later. Experts don’t know if having HPV alone can lead to cancer, or if you have to have another risk factor for it to happen (like being a cigarette smoker). But it causes about 70% of oropharyngeal cancer in the U.S. Cases continue to grow here, and there are more cases of throat cancer in men than cervical cancer in women – also caused by HPV.

Getting the HPV vaccine can protect you from the types of HPV that can cause throat cancer. It may prevent it. Some evidence shows that there’s possible herd immunity if enough people assigned female at birth get the vaccine. But it’s still recommended for all young people.

11 to 12 years old. You should get two doses spaced 6 to 12 months apart. If you start it later, you’ll need a third dose. (Children can get the first dose as early as 9 years old.) A young adult through 26 years old. Over 26, maybe. It may not be as protective because you may already have been exposed to HPV. Ask your doctor.

The more sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to get throat cancer. To prevent throat cancer:

Get the HPV vaccine. Limit how many sexual partners you have. Practice safe sex by using things like condoms and dental dams. Limit how much sun you get.Make sure your dentist checks your tonsils and tongue regularly. Eat a healthy diet. Limit alcohol and tobacco use.

Your doctor will examine you and ask about your general health, smoking and drinking habits, and sexual history. They might use devices to get a closer look at your throat. If the doctor thinks you may have cancer, they’ll order tests and procedures depending on what kind they suspect.

Here are some common ones: A biopsy collects a tissue sample that gets examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells. It’s the only way to know for sure if a tumor is cancer and what kind it is. The procedure may be done with surgery, fine needles, or an endoscope – a flexible tube with a camera that’s lowered into the throat through your nose or mouth.

A tool on the end will take the biopsy. Imaging tests can help doctors find a tumor. They can also show how big it is and if it has spread. These include:

MRI or CT scanPET scanX-rays

If cancer of the oropharynx is found, the sample may be tested for HPV. Usually, someone’s health outlook is better if their disease tests positive for this virus rather than being smoking-related cancer. Each type of this cancer has its own rules for staging, which describes how severe the disease is.

But generally, stages I and II are smaller cancers and remain in one area of the organ. Stage III diseases may have gone to lymph nodes or other parts of the throat. And stage IV cancers may have spread to lymph nodes and different parts of the head, neck, or chest. The most serious stage IV cancers have traveled to distant parts of the body like the lungs or liver.

Doctors will try to get rid of the tumor, keep the cancer from spreading, and protect your ability to swallow and speak as much as possible. Your treatment will depend on:

The stage of your cancerWhere it isYour general healthYour preferences

You may have one or more treatments: Radiation uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It’s given outside your body by a machine, or inside by radioactive seeds planted near the cancer. Sometimes radiation is the only treatment needed for early-stage cancers.

But it can be used with chemotherapy or surgery to treat later-stage disease. Surgery may be done through cuts with a scalpel. It may also be less invasive – going in through the mouth with a tube called an endoscope, or with lasers or robotic techniques. Very early cancers can usually be taken out with endoscopes or lasers.

If your cancer is more advanced, parts or all of your larynx or pharynx may need to be removed. This may affect your ability to swallow, breathe, or speak normally. Doctors may use tissue from another spot in your body to rebuild parts of your throat to help you swallow.

  • If your voice box is removed, the surgeon will attach your windpipe to an opening in your neck, called a stoma, so you can breathe.
  • If cancer has spread deep in your neck, your surgeon may do an operation to remove lymph nodes.
  • Chemotherapy drugs can kill cancer and stop it from spreading.
  • It may be used before surgery to shrink tumors, or after to keep the disease from coming back.

Some chemo drugs can make radiation work better. Targeted therapy drugs can starve cancer cells by blocking substances they need to grow. Your doctor can prescribe medication to help you manage pain. You may have problems during or after your treatment.

Show you how to care for your stomaTeach you to speak if you have no voice boxCome up with ways to make swallowing or eating easier

Take care of yourself. Your treatment might take a lot out of you. So get enough rest, exercise when you can, and fill your plate with healthy food, like fruits and veggies. Quit tobacco and limit alcohol. Smoking and drinking can make treatments less effective, and they raise your risk of getting another cancer.

What are late signs of throat cancer?

Pain and trouble breathing or swallowing might be symptoms of more advanced laryngeal cancer. For cancers that don’t start on the vocal cords, hoarseness occurs only after these cancers reach a later stage or have spread to the vocal cords.

How long can you have throat cancer without knowing?

Signs that warrant an immediate trip to a doctor – Some common cancer signs that should result in a visit to the emergency room or to a doctor as soon as possible include:

coughing up mucus tinged with bloodblood in stools or urinelump in the breast, testicles, under the arm, or anywhere that it didn’t exist beforeunexplained but noticeable weight losssevere unexplained pain in the head, neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis

These and other signs and symptoms will be evaluated. Screenings, such as blood and urine tests and imaging tests, will be used if your doctor thinks it’s appropriate. These tests are done both to help make a diagnosis as well as rule out various causes of your signs and symptoms. When seeing a doctor, be prepared to share the following information:

your personal medical history, including all symptoms you have experienced, as well as when they beganfamily history of cancer or other chronic conditionslist of all medications and supplements you take

For some cancers that are screened for on a regular basis, survival rates tend to be high. That’s because they’re often diagnosed early on, before symptoms develop. The 5-year survival rate for people with localized breast or prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent.

(Localized means it hasn’t spread outside the original tissue or organ.) And when diagnosed early, melanoma has about a 99 percent 5-year survival rate. But catching some cancers early is difficult. There are no regular screening guidelines for some cancers, and symptoms may not show up until the cancer is in its advanced stages.

To help protect yourself from these cancers:

Be sure to keep up with your regular blood work and annual physicals.Report any new symptoms to your doctor, even if they seem minor.Talk with your doctor about testing if you have a family history of a particular type of cancer.

If you’re wondering how long you can have cancer without knowing it, there’s no straight answer. Some cancers can be present for months or years before they’re detected. Some commonly undetected cancers are slow-growing conditions, which gives doctors a better chance at successful treatment.

Can throat cancer be cured?

Outlook (Prognosis) – Throat cancers may be cured when detected early. If the cancer has not spread ( metastasized ) to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in the neck, about one half of patients can be cured. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and parts of the body outside the head and neck, the cancer is not curable.

  1. Treatment is aimed at prolonging and improving quality of life.
  2. It is possible but not fully proven that cancers which test positive for HPV may have better outlooks.
  3. Also, people who smoked for less than 10 years may do better.
  4. After treatment, therapy is needed to help with speech and swallowing.
  5. If the person is not able to swallow, a feeding tube will be needed.

The recurrence risk in people with throat cancer is highest during the first 2 to 3 years of diagnosis. Regular follow-up after the diagnosis and treatment is very important to increase the chances of survival.