Throat cancer (laryngeal carcinoma) risk factors
Between the throat and the beginning of the trachea is the larynx. This cartilaginous organ is important for breathing and prevents food from entering the throat into the trachea. The vocal cords in the larynx make it possible to speak. Throat cancer develops in the mucous membrane of the larynx.Throat cancer risk factors
Larynx and adjacent organs
- lips 2. tongue 3. larynx 4. trachea 5. oral cavity 6. pharynx 7. esophagus
Throat cancer risk factors
The most important risk factor for throat cancer is smoking. Regular consumption of alcohol also increases the risk of cancer. The risk is particularly high in people who both smoke and drink a lot of alcohol.
Throat cancer symptoms
The symptoms of throat cancer can be:
- Coughing, possibly with bloody sputum
- Feeling of having to clear your throat constantly
- difficulty breathing
- difficulties swallowing
- Pain that radiates into the ear
If these symptoms persist for more than three weeks, they should be clarified by the doctor.
Throat cancer diagnosis
If throat cancer is suspected, the ear, nose and throat doctor will conduct a thorough examination. The mouth, throat, larynx and trachea are examined under anesthesia with an endoscope. Tissue samples are taken from suspicious areas. The neck region can also be visualized by ultrasound or computed tomography.
Throat cancer therapy
If a cancer of the larynx is diagnosed early, the functions of the larynx can usually be preserved despite the operation. If the tumor is already advanced, the larynx must be partially or completely removed. In addition, radiotherapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy is often necessary.
People without a larynx no longer breathe through the mouth or nose, but through a tracheostoma, a hole in the throat. Without a larynx, normal speech is no longer possible. However, the affected patients can learn to speak with a “substitute voice” and communicate well with it.