The Cure For Throat Cancer: A Brief Overview

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Throat cancer is a condition which involves the cancer of the voice box, vocal cords, tonsils or the oropharynx. It occurs due to the development of genetic mutations in the cells of your throat. Smoking and excessive use of alcohol can increase the risk of having this condition. Researchers are searching for new ways to find out the cure for throat cancer.

Signs of throat cancer:

  • Change in your voice
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Sore throat
  • Persistent cough
  • Pain in the ear
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck

Causes and risk factors for throat cancer

  • Poor nutrition
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Poor dental hygiene

Treatment

Following are some of the treatments that are being used currently for the cure for throat cancer:

Radiation therapy:

This therapy involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.

Types of radiation therapy:

Intensity-modulated radiotherapy and 3D conformal radiation therapy:

In this treatment, radiation beams are formulated according to the shape of the tumor. This therapy is generally given for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer.

Brachytherapy:

It is the internal radiation therapy in which the radioactive material is placed directly inside the tumor or close to the tumor. It can be used separately or with the external beam radiation therapy.

Surgery

The type of surgical procedure depends on the location and stage of the cancer.

Endoscopic surgery:

An endoscope is used to insert surgical instruments to treat early-stage cancers.

Cordectomy:

In this procedure, the surgeon removes all or part of vocal cords.

Laryngectomy:

A portion of the voice box or entire voice box is removed depending on the severity of the condition.

Pharyngectomy:

A part of the throat is removed during this procedure.

Neck dissection:

When cancer spreads within your neck, the doctor may remove some of your lymph nodes.

Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy can be given either before the treatment or after the treatment. Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill cancer and slow down its growth.

Targeted drug therapy:

Targeted drug therapy can be used in combination with radiation therapy or chemotherapy to cure the throat cancer. These days drug Cetuximab (Erbitux) is used to treat throat cancer. This therapy is used to target the specific cancer cells. Researchers are studying more drugs for clinical trials.
These were some of the current treatments which are being used for the cure of throat cancer.

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