Posted in: Throat Cancer by Dr. Tarang Krishna
Cancer is a ruthless disease with various types. Throat cancer, another common type of cancer is a condition marked by the presence of malignant tumors in the throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils. Though the throat cancer signs may vary depending on the type and location of the tumour, below are a few things you should keep a check on:
- Persistent hoarseness in the voice: Hoarseness in the voice is the first and foremost sign as most of the cancers start in the larynx. However, a hoarse voice is also a common sign of laryngitis and may not necessarily mean cancer. But, laryngitis clears within a week or so. If you develop a continuous hoarseness of the voice which does not go within 2-4 weeks, you should see a doctor.
- Lump in the throat: This is a feeling of a lump or mass in the throat. However, a lump which happens without an infection or persists long after an infection resolves may be a sign of throat cancer.
- Sore throat: A sore throat is a condition marked by pain in the throat which is usually caused by inflammation due to a viral infection or flu. Persistent sore throat can be deciphered as a sign of cancer if it does not go way.
- Dysphagia – Difficulty while swallowing solids may arise due to the narrowing of the passage. A progressive dysphagia or a persistent dysphagia can be a sign of Throat Cancer.
- Abnormal breathing sounds: Abnormal breathing sounds may show signs of stress and may come when a person inhales or exhales. Some abnormal breath sounds may change the sound of a person’s voice. If the sounds persist, visit your doctor.
- Continuous cough: A persistent cough is potentially a sign of health concern, but in most cases the cause is unrelated to cancer. But, if the cough becomes chronic i.e. if it lasts for more than 3 weeks or months becoming hoarse or produces blood or generates unusual amount of mucus, it’s time to visit the doctor.
- Odynophagia: This basically talks about the painful deglutition. Occasional pain while swallowing isn’t a cause of concern but continuous pain may mark a serious medical condition.
Few other symptoms maybe:
- Nasal Blockage
- Recurrent Ear Infections
- Difficulty in opening the mouth
- Unexplained weight Loss
If you experience the above signs and symptoms for more than two weeks, you should see your doctor for an exam. A delay may lead to difference between early or late detection of cancer, which may affect the cancer treatment outcome. However Cancer Healer Center, a leading cancer hospital in India says you may notice some of the signs which are common to many other illnesses, most of which are less severe than throat cancer. Remember, persistent does not always mean constant. So whether your signs are constant or erratic, making an appointment to see the doctor is essential to rule out diseases like cancer.