Laryngeal cancer can cause pain and foreign body sensation in the throat, as well as difficulty swallowing. Other symptoms include hoarseness, coughing, high-pitched breathing and a change in voice. It can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the back of the tongue and the lymph nodes. In most cases, it is diagnosed at an early stage, making treatment possible. This type of cancer can be prevented by avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and other substances that are known to increase the risk of developing this disease.
It is important to see your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following: a hoarse voice for three weeks or more, persistent sore throat, or a lump in the neck. Other signs of the disease may be caused by less serious medical conditions, but these should be ruled out before considering a diagnosis. If you suspect you have laryngeal cancer, your doctor will perform a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the type of cancer, your doctor might recommend radiation therapy or surgery.
Laryngeal cancer is usually detected during a physical examination by your doctor. Your doctor might also perform an X-ray or CT scan to check the size and location of the tumor. This test can help detect whether the cancer has spread to other areas of your body. If the cancer has been detected in your neck, your doctor might suggest that you have a laryngectomy, a surgical procedure in which part or all of the larynx is removed. This operation may also involve radiotherapy. This therapy will target cancerous cells, helping them to disappear.
The earliest symptom of laryngeal cancer is a sore throat. It can be difficult to determine the extent of the soreness in the throat, however. If the soreness persists for more than three weeks, it could be due to chronic pharyngitis, another ailment that can cause soreness and irritation in the throat. If the soreness continues and causes trouble breathing, your doctor might be able to rule out laryngeal cancer.
When you have a sore throat, your doctor may order diagnostic tests, such as an X-ray or an MRI, to look for any changes in your voice. Your doctor will also conduct blood work and electrolytes, which may reveal a low calcium level, thyroid function, or other factors that can indicate a problem. If these tests indicate that you have laryngeal cancer, you might need to undergo a biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is taken and analyzed. Afterwards, you will have a laryngoscopy to view the larynx and determine the location of the cancer.
The earliest symptoms of laryngeal cancer are usually mild and easy to distinguish from other illnesses. They often resolve themselves with time, but it is important to be alert to the signs so you can get the right treatment. If you do experience laryngeal cancer, it is important to know what you can do to treat it and how you can support your loved ones.