Throat cancer in the medical literature is called laryngeal cancer. This is a malignant neoplasm formed from pathologically altered cells of the epithelium lining the throat. The tumor may look like a growth that gradually blocks the lumen of the laryngeal tube, or it may spread inside the wall of the throat. Over time, it grows into neighboring tissues and organs and gives numerous metastases to regional nodes and distant organs.
Table of Contents
According to histological features, throat cancer is divided into:
- Squamous – 95%;Gglandular – 2%;
- Basalioma – 2%;
- Other, rare types of tumors – 1%.
By location, neoplasms of the larynx are distinguished:
- Upper section – up to 70%;
- mMiddle section – about 28%;
- Lower section – about 2%.
The initial manifestations of the disease resemble the common cold:
- Cancer of the throat (larynx)
- Sore throat that makes it difficult to speak or swallow food;
- A sensation of the presence of a foreign body in the throat;
- Swelling of the tonsils;
- Voice change – hoarseness or nasality;
- Frequent headaches;
- General weakness decreased performance;
- Slight increase in body temperature;
- Enlargement of the submandibular lymph nodes.
However, unlike the common cold, the first symptoms of throat cancer do not go away within a week, just like the Symptoms of breast cancer The listed signs intensify, over time they are added to:
- Light spots on the mucous membrane;
- Small bleeding sores;
- Chronic cough;
- Ear pain without signs of otitis media;
- Weight loss for no apparent reason;
- The appearance of a tumor on the neck;
- Difficulty in pronouncing words due to decreased mobility of the tongue;
- Labored breathing;
- Nose bleeding.
Causes and risk factors
Causes of cancer of the throat (larynx)So far, the mechanism that causes pathological changes in cells, due to which they begin uncontrolled and uncontrolled division, has not been accurately identified. However, today the factors that contribute to the appearance of throat cancer have already been well studied.Find out the most deadly cancer The main causes are persistent tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. In addition, they exacerbate the situation:
- Belonging to the male sex;
- Age over 40 years;
- Living in a city with unfavorable environmental conditions;
- Work in hazardous production;
- Lack of vitamins and the predominance of meat in the diet;
- Inherited predisposition to cancer;
- Heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux);
About 90% of patients with throat cancer are men aged 40-60 years old, living in large cities and smoking at least a pack of cigarettes daily.
The onset of symptoms of laryngeal cancer is often preceded by a precancerous condition, mucosal dysplasia, which develops with constant irritation from cigarette smoke, strong alcohol, or pollutants. If the irritating factor is eliminated, this condition often disappears on its own, otherwise, a transition to the so-called zero stage of the oncological disease is possible – in situ, or “in place”, when pathological cells remain within the epithelial tissue. In the future, there is rapid growth and spread of tumors.
- Otolaryngologists and oncologists distinguish four main stages of the disease.
Throat (larynx) cancer stages
Pathological education remains within the original section of the larynx, spreading in the mucous membrane and submucosal layer. Symptoms are absent or barely noticeable.
The tumor grows into all layers of the tissues of the throat but remains within the original section. There are sore throats and voice changes. The neoplasm penetrates into the tissues adjacent to the throat and regional lymph nodes. The sore throat intensifies, and coughing, ulcers and other characteristic symptoms appear.
The tumor grows so much that it becomes clearly visible on the neck. It grows into all surrounding tissues and metastasizes to nearby and distant organs. The patient’s condition deteriorates sharply, he is tormented by constant pain.
If cold symptoms do not disappear within two to three weeks, it is necessary to visit an otolaryngologist as soon as possible and undergo a diagnosis of throat cancer. The examination includes:
Diagnosis of cancer of the throat (larynx)
laryngoscopy – examination of all parts of the larynx with an endoscope to detect pathological changes; biopsy of neoplasms for subsequent histological examination of cells in order to detect oncology of the larynx; x-ray of the esophagus and larynx to determine how deep the tumor has spread; Ultrasound of the neck to detect metastases; MRI of the larynx to clarify the size and topology of the tumor; immunological blood test to detect tumor markers.
Treatment methods for throat cancer are selected in accordance with the size of the neoplasm, the degree of involvement of neighboring organs in the oncological process, the presence of metastases, and the general condition of the patient.
Throat (larynx) cancer treatment
Surgery is a radical and most effective method, which consists in removing malignant tissue. In the early stages, surgery is used as an independent way to fight the tumor, in the later stages – in combination with radiation and chemical therapy. Depending on the size of the tumor, the surgeon removes part of the larynx or the entire organ. In some cases, lymph nodes, cervical tissue, and other anatomical structures affected by metastases are simultaneously removed.
Radiation therapy is used after surgery to destroy residual cancerous foci, and in case of impossibility of intervention, as the main method of treatment. In some cases, radiation can destroy a small tumor without surgery.
Chemotherapy is used before surgery to shrink the tumor, and in combination with radiation therapy to prevent recurrence after surgery. In advanced cancers, chemoradiotherapy is used as the primary treatment to control tumor growth and symptoms.
Targeted therapy in the early stages is used in combination with radiotherapy, and in later stages – in combination with chemotherapy.
Modern methods make it possible to achieve complete recovery of patients in 90-95% of cases if the tumor was detected at an early stage of development. When symptoms of stage III-IV throat cancer , and sympoms of breast cancer in women are detected, the five-year survival rate in different clinics is from 20 to 65% of patients.
To prevent oncology of the larynx and avoid the disease, it is necessary:
- Stop smoking tobacco and drinking strong drinks;
- While working in hazardous production, carefully observe safety measures,
- Wear PPE at all times;
- Regularly examined by an otolaryngologist.
These measures will reduce the risk of the disease, and if a tumor occurs, it will be detected at an early stage.
Recovery after surgery to remove the larynx or part of it is a difficult and lengthy process. The patient cannot eat normally and is forced to take food through a tube, and cannot talk. After a certain time, when it becomes clear that the operation was successful, the patient’s larynx is restored and plastic surgery of the vocal cords is performed. To restore voice function, it is necessary to undergo a rehabilitation course, which includes special physiotherapy, exercise therapy exercises, sessions with a psychotherapist, and learning new speech skills.
Diagnosis and treatment of throat cancer in Moscow
In the clinic, “Medicina” residents and guests of Moscow can undergo qualified treatment for throat cancer by the best otolaryngologists and oncologists in the capital. At your service is an excellently equipped laboratory, which performs any kind of analysis, modern diagnostic equipment, the latest generation equipment for radiation therapy and surgical interventions, and an inpatient department with comfortable rooms.
- Questions and answers
What does throat cancer look like?
In the initial stages, cancerous growths may look like small bumps located on the mucous membrane of the throat. In the future, as the pathologically altered tissue decays, ulcers form in their place. Increasing in size, the tumor becomes visible from the outside, forming a characteristic bulge under the skin of the neck.
How do you know if you have throat cancer?
The presence of a cancerous tumor in the throat should be suspected when:
- Voice changes – hoarseness, distortion of intonation, coarsening;
- The sensation of a foreign body in the throat;
- Pain that worsens when swallowing;
- Frequent nosebleeds.
If your throat hurts for more than two weeks and does not go away, you should immediately visit an otolaryngologist.
Is there a cure for throat cancer?
If detected early, throat cancer is completely curable in 85-90% of cases. Even in the most advanced cases, at least 20% of patients live for more than five years. The earlier treatment is started, the higher the chances of recovery of the patient.