Throat cancer (larynx cancer) can develop in any part of the throat. Most cancers of the throat begins in the vocal cords and larynx, in the cells lining the inner walls of the larynx. Almost all kinds of laryngeal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma.
The leading experts in ENT onco surgery:
Dr. Raphael Pfeffer – Expert in radiotherapy, Head of the Radiology Department, Assuta Medical Center
Dr. Eitan Yaniv – Head of ENT department, Beilinson. Endoscopic surgery of the nose, throat and ear
Dr. Roy Lansberg – Expert endoscopic surgery of the nose, face, ear and throat, Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv
Prof. Dan Fliss – Head of ENT Department and neck problems, Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv
Diagnosis and treatment of throat cancer
Throat cancer is almost always spreads to the lymph nodes in the neck. Cancer cells can also spread to the base of the tongue and to other organs in the neck and throat.
The larynx is a kind of valve which opens and closes for performing the functions of breathing, swallowing and speech reproduction.
What is the tumor?
Normal healthy cells divide and form new cells when body needs. When the “old” cells die, their place is taken by new ones. When the organic process is damaged the body begins to produce new cells are not needed and the old ones have not withered away. This creates an excess of cells in tissue called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant.
Benign (non-cancerous tumors) rarely life threatening, they usually can be removed, rarely occur again and do not extend to nearby tissues or to distant organs.
Malignant (cancerous tumors) are more dangerous to life, and after removal can occur again, and spread to nearby tissues and damage them. Malignant tumors spread through the bloodstream to distant organs or lymph.
This spread is called metastasis. Different types of cancer tend to spread in razlnye organs of the body.
Factors for throat cancer
Smoking. Smokers are more likely to develop throat cancer than non-smokers. The risk increases if the smokers also consume alcohol. People who quit smoking significantly reduce the risk of throat cancer, and lung cancer, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus and bladder. In addition, people endured and throat cancer quit smoking greatly reduces the risk of recurrence in the throat or the emergence of other types of cancer in the head and neck.
Alcohol. Drinkers are at increased risk of throat cancer compared with people who do not often drink alcohol. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. The risk increases if the person also smokes.
Age is also a risk factor. Most patients are over the age of 55 years.
Sex. Throat cancer is more common in men.
Early detection of cancer in the head and neck. These people are at risk of developing a second malignancy.
Professional activities. Exposure to asbestos and nickel increases the risk of cancer.
Symptoms of throat cancer
Symptoms depend mainly on the size and location of the tumor. It can be: hoarseness or voice changes, a lump in the throat, sore throat or feeling that something is “stuck” in the throat, cough, shortness of breath, bad breath, ear pain, weight loss.
These symptoms may be caused by cancer or any other disease. Only a doctor can accurately determine this.
Physical examination. Palpation of the neck to assess the status of the lymph nodes, thyroid and throat, as well as detection of “lump”.
Stroboscopy (fiber-optic laryngoscopy). A small, flexible tube with a tiny light on the end is inserted through the nose into the throat of the patient. Thus, the doctor can get a complete picture of the patient’s throat.
Biopsy. Upon detection of abnormal uchatska, the doctor removes a sample of suspicious tissue. This is called a biopsy. This procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia. A biopsy is sent to pathological analysis, examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to find out whether the tumor is malignant.
Computed tomography (CT). Using X-ray CT provides a detailed picture of the throat. Sometimes intravenous contrast agent Woody for detailed consideration of certain organs in the neck, such as the lymph nodes.
Additionally, it may be assigned to ultrasound and PET-CT
Once diagnosed treatment is carried out a team of specialists from different areas – ENT surgeon and head and neck oncologist, plastic surgeon, a speech therapist and dietitian.
After determining the method of treatment, the doctor will explain to you what you can expect from each of the treatment options, as can be changed appearance, breathing and speech, so that you can make a final decision about treatment. The choice of treatment depends on many factors including overall health status, primary tumor location throat metastases. In some cases, you can discuss with your doctor the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial of a new treatment method.
Throat cancer can be treated by surgery, radiation therapy (radiotherapy), chemotherapy, or a combination of these methods.
Smaller tumors are usually surgically curing or in combination with radiotherapy. Progressive stage of the disease requires a combination of several treatments.
Surgical treatment. Small primary tumor resection is performed using a laser microscope. Typically, this vocal cords resection at different depths. With larger tumors usually performed complete resection of the larynx (laryngectomy), with a “cleansing” in the cervical glands is suspected of regional metastasis.
In the throat established stoma. After surgery, some patients may need to temporarily take food through a tube.
Radiation therapy (radiotherapy). Is to use X-ray energy to destroy cancer cells. Beams are directed at the tumor and affect only the projection area. Treatment generally lasts 5 days a week for seven weeks. Typically used in combination as chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy. Use of drugs that destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into the bloodstream and affect the entire body.