Throat Cancer Treatment
doctor will consider the extension of the tumor along with your age and your general health to determine the
treatment most appropriate and effective to fight it. In general, earlier the cancer is diagnosed, more chance
you have to survive.
Throat cancer can be
treated with surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy; sometimes a combination of these treatments is used.
However, the treatment of choice for early-stage throat cancer is radiation therapy. If the cancer is advanced, but operable, your health care provider can combine
the radiation with surgery and /or chemotherapy.
If surgery can be
performed, your surgeon will perform one of these surgical operations:
- Laryngectomy - during this surgical procedure, your surgeon
removes part or the entire larynx, and makes a sort of opening in your neck so you can breathe. This will
damage your vocal cords; however, there are several solutions that can help you speak or communicate with
others. In fact, the majority of throat cancer victims having had a laryngectomy manage to communicate well
with others as before the surgery (see complications for details).
this is a major surgery consists of
removing the pharynx, in whole or in part. In case you have a localized or early stage throat cancer, your
surgeon can perform a partial pharyngectomy; in advanced throat cancer, however, a total pharyngectomy is
often performed to remove the tumor completely.
Neck dissection –
dissection is sometimes practiced when thecancer has spread to the tissue of the neck; the goal of the
surgery is to remove
cancerous lymph nodes.
Radiation Therapy (radiotherapy)
Radiotherapy is a
therapeutic method commonly used to treat throat cancer. It consists of using ionizing radiation to kill cancer
cells in order to shrink or eliminate the tumor. If you have an early stage (stage 1 and even 2) throat cancer,
radiation therapy may be the ideal choice; in fact, many of throat cancer diagnosed early treated solely by
radiotherapy. In addition, unlike surgery, radiation therapy has no or less permanent physiological effects; it
does not damage your vocal cords; that is, the quality of your voice does not change.
However, radiotherapy is
sometimes associated with temporary side effects:
of the mouth and gums
production of saliva (dry mouth)
and dryness of the skin
- Loss of
taste or smell.
Throat Cancer Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy involves using
powerful chemical agents (drugs) to slow down or stop the uncontrolled reproduction of cancerous cells.
Chemotherapy is not always practical in the treatment of throat cancer; it is necessary if the cancer has spread
elsewhere or if the cancer is aggressive. Unlike radiotherapy, chemotherapy drugs circulate throughout your body
and affect all organs. While attacking cancer cells, chemotherapy
drugs also damage healthy cells that multiply rapidly, which often causes side effects:
Throat Cancer Survival Rates