Growth of malignant tumors in the pharynx and larynx is known as throat cancer. Cancer of the pharynx and cancer of the voice box or larynx are equally common. If due to some reason the cells of either the pharynx or the larynx undergo genetic mutation, the abnormal throat cells start multiplying uncontrollably, forming cancerous tumors in the throat.
Throat cancer risk factors
Unhealthy lifestyle tends to increase the risk of genetic mutation in the throat cells. Smoking is one of the major hazards that can cause throat cancer. Unhealthy oral habits such as chewing tobacco could cause throat cancer. Poor oral care can also increase the risk of this disease. Throat cancer could even develop from alcoholism.
Prolonged exposure to carcinogenic chemical and hazardous substances such as asbestos increases the risk of developing throat cancer. Risk of developing throat cancer is greatest among people with multiple oral sex partners. If the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer, enter the throat through oral sex, throat cancer could occur.
Symptoms of throat cancer
The common symptoms of throat cancer includes cough, hoarseness or change in the voice, persistent sore throat that refuses to heal, difficulty in swallowing and sometimes you might feel a lump inside the throat. Other than these usual symptoms of throat cancer, people with throat cancer might experience ear pain and weight loss. Although, presence of any or all of these symptoms might not indicate throat cancer, nonetheless, you should visit the doctor if one or several of these symptoms exist for over two weeks. Throat cancer is curable if diagnosed at an early stage.
Throat cancer prevention
Smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking excess alcohol are the common causes of throat cancer. To reduce the risk of throat cancer, you should quit these harmful habits. You should be extremely cautious while working with chemicals. While working with chemicals, remember to cover your face, nose and mouth with protective mask.
Always work in a well-ventilated room. Avoid oral sex with multiple partners, especially if your partner has a risk of developing sexually transmitted disease and cervical cancer. Although, vaccines could protect against certain HPV strain infections that cause cervical cancer, no study has yet proven the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing throat cancer caused by HPV infection. Vegetables and fruits, especially berries such as raspberries, noted for their antioxidant properties could reduce the risk of throat cancer.