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Throat Cancer Stages

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Throat cancer is a type of tumor that occurs in the area of throat. This tumor affects the inner lining of throat and causes inflammation in the area. This results into constant cough and in advanced stages even blood is thrown out through cough. This cancer affects more than 30,000 people a year in America. There are various diagnosing techniques available for detecting this tumor accurately. These techniques include several blood tests, CT scan and MRI's. Throat cancer stages vary according to the nature, size and characteristics of the tumor. As the tumor keeps developing the throat cancer stages keeps increasing. Excessive smoking, tobacco consumption and alcohol consumption are considered as the main causes of this tumor. Other indirect causes include exposure to ultraviolet radiations, Leukoplakia and Human pappilomavirus.

Before understanding throat cancer stages it is very important to have a brief idea about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Symptoms of this tumor include:-

  • Constant cough
  • Fever
  • Coughing up of blood
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in the area of throat
  • Continuous sound of wheezing
  • Sore throat

Diagnosis of Throat Cancer:-

Before diagnosing this tumor, a physical examination is conducted. Diagnosis of this tumor is done by conducting several blood tests, CT scans, MRI's and other laboratory tests. Special tests conducted include Biopsy and Metascopy which give accurate diagnosis of the disease.

Treatment of throat Cancer:-

Various techniques are available which help to remove the tumor successfully from the body. These techniques include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery is generally avoided because there are chances of recurrence as it is not possible to remove the cells completely from the body with this procedure. Chemotherapy destroys the tumor and the malignant cells completely and is given in certain time intervals. Radiation therapy is considered as the most effective treatment of this tumor. This technique involves the use of radioactive ways for removal of this tumor.

Throat cancer stages:-

Throat cancer is classified into several stages according to the severity of the tumor and its spread throughout the body.

Stage 1:-

At this stage, the size of the tumor is very small and it is in a developing phase. It has not damaged the lymph nodes or any other area of the throat. The size of the tumor is about 2 to 3 centimetres. Minor symptoms are observed at this stage such as throat infections, cough and fever. So there are rare chances of diagnosing the tumor at this stage. If the tumor is diagnosed at this stage, it can be removed with the help of surgery in which the location is cut and the tumor cells are removed completely. There are no chances of recurrence of the tumor at this stage.

Stage 2:-

At this stage, the speed of development of the tumor increases. It starts affecting the nearby lymp nodes but has not spread to other parts of the body. The size of the tumor at this stage is about 5 centimetres. The major symptoms observed at this stage include constant cough, fever, sore throat and a sensation of swelling in the area of the neck. It is very important to treat the tumor at this stage. Treatment techniques recommended at this stage include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sometimes, the combination of these techniques can also be used. Recurrence rate of the tumor at this stage is about 5 percent.

Stage 3:-

At this stage, the tumor is in a severe form. It has completely damaged the lymph nodes and starts affecting the other parts of the body. Size of the tumor at this stage is about 5 to 6 centimetres. Symptoms observed at this stage include constant coughing, constant fever, coughing up of blood, continuous sound of wheezing, difficulty in swallowing food and excessive weight loss. The most recommended treatment at this stage is radiation therapy which helps to quickly destroy the tumor cells. There are 7 to 8 percent chances of recurrence at this stage.

Stage 4:-

At this stage, the tumor has conquered the whole body. The other parts of body including throat have damaged completely. At this stage, patient finds it very difficult to swallow the food stuffs due to which excessive weight loss is observed. Sometimes, difficulty in breathing is also noticed. Radiation therapy is considered as the best treatment at this stage although there are rare chances of this tumor getting cured.

Throat cancer stages are generally classified on the basis of tumor type, its characteristics and widespread throughout the body. As this cancer is of a serious type, there is a need to spread awareness regarding this tumor. However, there are several institutions working towards spreading awareness regarding this disease.

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