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Throat Cancer Symptoms

Throat or pharynx is a 5-inch-long muscular tube that begins behind the nose and ends at the top of the windpipe and esophagus in the neck.

Throat cancer occurs when the tissues and cells of the linings of the throat become malignant or cancerous. Throat cancer includes cancer of the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose), the oropharynx (the middle part of the pharynx), and the hypopharynx (the bottom part of the pharynx). Most throat cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Throat cancer is also called pharyngeal cancer. Cancer of larynx is dealt separately as laryngeal cancer.

Here are few symptoms of throat cancer:

  • Lump or sore in throat that doesn’t heal
  • White, red or dark patches inside the mouth
  • Difficulty in chewing, swallowing or moving tongue
  • Change in voice or hoarseness
  • Swelling or pain in the jaw
  • Pain around your teeth, or loosening of your teeth
  • Feeling of numbness in tongue and face
  • Thickening of cheek
  • Pain around teeth or loosening of teeth
  • Bad breath and cough
  • A lump in neck
  • Ear pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes can also be seen rarely

According to National Cancer Institute, there are several estimated new cases and deaths from pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer in the United States in the year 2009. The new cases of pharyngeal and laryngeal cancers are 12,610 and 12,290 respectively. The deaths caused by these cancers are 2,230 (pharyngeal cancer) and 3,660 (laryngeal cancer).

What are Squamous Cell Carcinomas:

The Pharyngeal Throat Cancer is caused by the squamous cell carcinomas. They are malignant cancer cells. They are of two types, namely the “in situ” and the “invesive” carcinomas. The in situ carcinomas convert the healthy cells of the affected regions in to harmful ones. The growth of the harmful cells increases with time. It is called Bowen’s Disease, technically. This causes swellings developed in such regions known as tumors.

The invesive carcinomas are much more dangerous. These cancer cells have the ability to infect the healthy cells of a region and later spread the harmful cells to other parts of the body too. This process of spreading of cancer cells is called Metastasis, technically.

Factors responsible for Pharyngeal Cancer Symptoms:

In order to identify the signs of the Pharyngeal cancer, we must know that the carcinomas causing it vary with gender, age, genetics and geography. Men are twice at risk of getting affected by these harmful cancer causing cells than females. The peak age of getting infected by Pharyngeal cancer is approximately around 66 years.

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