Throat cancers

The term ‘throat cancer’is used as an umbrella term to describe a range of cancers which affect various parts of the mouth. These include the throat but also include the larynx, tonsils, pharynx, and base of the tongue, sinuses and even the oesophagus.

The thyroid gland is also included in this group.

This section of the guide discusses these in individual sections which are arranged as follows:

  • Cancer of the larynx
  • Cancer of the oesophagus
  • Cancer of the pharynx
  • Cancer of the thyroid gland
  • Cancer of the trachea
  • Cancer of the mouth

The thing to remember here is that ‘throat cancer’refers to a group of cancers which affect different areas of the body rather than a particular organ.

Many people use the term ‘throat cancer’to refer to a cancer within a part of the mouth, throat or neck. This includes the larynx, parts of the pharynx or the oesophagus. It can also include the salivary glands.

So, it is important to know which aspect of the throat you are referring in order to find the right information for you.

If you want to know more about the various parts of the throat such as the larynx then visit our throat anatomy section.

What you will find is that the treatment for one type of throat cancer varies from another. So, the treatment for cancer of the pharynx will differ from treatment for cancer of the oesophagus.

What are the risk factors for throat cancer?

These include excess alcohol consumption, smoking, chewing tobacco (common amongst certain ethnic groups) and working in a hazardous environment.

How is throat cancer treated?

It is treated by surgery. This involves the removal of the cancerous growth followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Speech therapy may be needed in those cases where their cancer has affected their ability to talk and communicate with others.

Throat and mouth cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the world. But like any form of cancer it can be treated and successfully if diagnosed at a very early stage.

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