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First signs of throat cancer, diagnosis and treatment


Oncological diseases bear a direct threat to human life.The throat( larynx) is also an exception, therefore, the population should be fully informed not only of the signs of this terrible disease, but also of the diagnostic measures and adequate treatment.

Table of Contents: Causes of laryngeal cancer and risk factors Classification of throat cancer( larynx) Symptoms of throat cancer( larynx)

Causes of laryngeal cancer and risk factors

There are only two main reasons for the formation of a malignant tumor:

  1. The current inflammatory process.This is a pathology that lasts for 5-10 years and is characterized by the intensity of manifestation.
  2. Improper tissue repair.In medicine, this process is called perverted, which is distinguished by the appearance of atypical( "wrong") cells.

There are certain diseases that are considered to be the precursors of the throat cancer( larynx). That is, doctors believe that if they ever were, then sooner or later the formation of a malignant tumor will begin.These diseases include:

  1. Dyskeratosis is a condition in which excessive formation of the keratin protein in the pharyngeal mucosa( larynx) occurs.And, in medicine, there are two variants of this disease - leukoplakia and leukokeratosis.
  2. Pachydermia is a pathology associated with thickening of a limited portion of the mucosa on the inner surface of the pharynx( larynx).Diagnosis of this disease is difficult, because to identify the disease it is required to study the affected tissue under a microscope.
    Note: the probability of developing a malignant tumor of the pharynx will be high only if the pathological thickening of the mucosa is located in close proximity to the vocal cords.With other localization, cancer cells are never formed.
  3. Papillomas of the larynx.This disease is very common in adults, and the timing of the formation of malignant cells on the papillomas can not be determined exactly.Doctors suggest that these terms depend on the presence or absence of predisposing factors.

It should be noted immediately that the above abnormalities of the throat( larynx) do not always develop into malignant tumors - with properly administered treatment, the cancer risk is reduced by an average of 70%.

Factors that can trigger the development of throat cancer( larynx) include:

  • frequent scream - it means constant voice load;
  • the constant use of hot and spicy food;
  • alcohol abuse - the upper larynx( throat) is exposed to direct exposure to ethyl alcohol, which causes irritation and damage to the mucosa;
  • smoking and harmfulness of a professional nature - work at high temperature, dusty rooms, inhalation of aggressive substances( phenolic resins, soot, benzene);
  • inflammatory diseases of the throat( larynx), proceeding in a chronic form - for example, laryngitis;
  • scars on the mucous throat, which can appear after syphilis, scleroma, burns and tuberculosis.

Classification of throat cancer( larynx)

The term "throat cancer" is often used in everyday life, but from a medical point of view it is somewhat incorrect.In accordance with the international classification of diseases, it will be correct to call the pathology of laryngeal cancer, and to indicate the exact localization of the pathological process.Symptoms of the disease under consideration differ significantly depending on the level of the tumor location, and precisely this principle became the basis of the classification of the disease. The following groups are conventionally classified as malignant tumors of the pharynx:

  • cancer of the vocal cords;
  • cancer of the anterior larynx( tumor located above the vocal cords);
  • malignant tumor of the larynx cartilage;
  • cancer under the voice device.

In addition to the division of the disease under consideration according to the topographic feature, there is also the TNM classification of .It determines the severity of the tumor process, lesions of the lymph nodes and the presence of metastases.This classification is mandatory indicated by the doctor in the diagnosis of throat cancer. The principle of deciphering this classification is simple - the letter in the abbreviation means some specific clinical sign, and the figure is the severity of the process:

  • T( 0-4) - size of the tumor( tumor);
  • N( 0-3) - degree of involvement of lymph nodes;
  • M( 0-1) - absence or presence of metastases in the body.

The most favorable prognosis for the patient will be diagnosed with laryngeal cancer with the designation N0 M0, that is, the symptoms of the pathology are of a local nature and the treatment will surely be successful.

Symptoms of throat cancer( larynx)

The clinical picture in cancer of various parts of the throat( larynx) is very different, so it is worthwhile to consider all possible options separately from each other.

Cancer of the larynx( above the vocal cords)

Most often patients with this arrangement of a malignant tumor are late seeking qualified medical care.And this is due to the diffuse symptoms, which are often mistaken for the chronic course of angina. But as soon as the malignant tumor located on the threshold of the larynx grows, the patient will be disturbed by the following symptoms:

  • Anatomy of the throat a constant sensation in the throat of discomfort and the presence of a foreign body;
  • continuous dry cough, which does not help to get rid of even the most powerful antitussive and mucolytic drugs;
  • shortness of breath;
  • pain during swallowing;
  • severe dyspnea;
  • frequent perforation.

Vocal cord cancer

This type of malignant neoplasm in the throat( larynx) is most easily diagnosed at early stages of development, since develops characteristic symptoms almost immediately after the formation of the tumor - voice hoarseness and change in its timbre .At the same time, neither antibiotic therapy, nor the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, nor hormone therapy have any therapeutic effect.

Laryngeal cancer

This section of the throat is very narrow and the appearance in it of even a small tumor causes difficulty in breathing, so patients with this problem are treated in the early stages of the disease.Symptom of difficulty breathing can not be removed by bronchodilators and antispasmodics, which is typical of the signs of throat cancer( larynx).

As the malignancy develops, the symptoms of the pathology in different parts of the larynx become similar and at these stages the doctors distinguish a number of common symptoms of the disease in question:

  • cough with copious sputum, which is accompanied by stabbing pain in the throat and in most cases is characterized by the presenceIn the sputum of scarlet blood;
  • decrease in appetite, general weakness and malaise, patients sharply lose weight;
  • shortness of breath of mixed character - the patient complains that it is difficult for him to exercise both inhalation and exhalation;
  • bad breath.

Note: if the cancer of the throat( larynx) has already metastasized, then symptoms typical of specifically affected organs will be present.Metastases in this disease most often affect the lungs, liver and spleen, and in women the late stage of the throat cancer can be accompanied by metastases in the mammary glands and ovaries.

Diagnostic measures

Throat cancer First of all, palpation( probing) of the entire neck area is carried out, as in the case of a tumor there is always a neck deformation and cartilage displacement .When palpation can be felt some rounded formation of a dense consistency, with even edges and even with some soreness.

In principle, a diagnostic test for the detection of throat cancer( larynx) can be carried out at home by anyone: you need to press the thyroid cartilage on the right, then left and shift it a few centimeters.Normally, you should hear a crunch due to friction of cartilage, but its absence can be an indirect evidence of the presence of a tumor.

Note: in no case the specified test should not be the final diagnosis!Only an expert, after laboratory and instrumental examinations, can make an accurate diagnosis.But the absence of a characteristic crunch should be the reason for going to the doctor.

In general, laboratory diagnostic methods for the particular disease in question are practically uninformative - an increase in the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation, a high level of leukocytes and a C-reactive protein will be revealed.These same indices are also present in a progressive inflammatory process, so they are not suitable for differential diagnosis.

Methods of instrumental examination of a patient during diagnostic activities:

  1. Indirect laryngoscopy.This examination of the larynx with the help of mirrors, which allows you to detect cancer of the vocal cords.This procedure is carried out quickly, no specific patient preparation is required, but the doctor can only examine the mucous throat superficially.
  2. Hronicheskij-laringit Direct laryngoscopy.This is called examination of the larynx with the help of a special device( laryngoscope), which allows more complete examination of the laryngeal mucosa, but does not provide an opportunity to identify the cancer of the podogolosovogo department.When carrying out a direct laryngoscopy, complications are possible - spasm of the vocal cords and speech disturbance of the patient.
  3. Fibrolaringoscopy.Using a flexible optical device, illuminated by a video camera and a light source, a doctor can examine three sections of the larynx.In addition, the doctor during a survey makes a biopsy( if necessary).Fibrolaringoscopy is performed under local anesthesia - the patient is irrigated by the larynx Lidocaine.
  4. Direct microlaryngoscopy.A special microscope is inserted into the patient's larynx, which makes it possible to examine all mucous membranes at any level.This method of diagnosis can detect squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx.Direct microlaringoscopy is performed under anesthesia, and this can lead to impaired consciousness, headaches, atony of the gastrointestinal tract and bladder.

In addition, patients with suspected throat cancer( larynx) can be assigned radiography of the neck area in two standard projections, computed tomography of the neck and MRI of the neck.But despite the great information content of modern diagnostic methods, confirmation of the disease under consideration is done only after a histological examination of a fragment of the laryngeal mucosa( biopsy).

Treatment of throat cancer( larynx)

Only qualified oncologist after an examination of the patient's findings can select an adequate, effective therapy for the disease in question. Currently, clinical practice in the treatment of a malignant tumor of the throat( larynx) includes several methods:

  1. Laser destruction of the tumor.Such treatment will be effective only with T1 tumor, after recovery the voice of the patient does not change, difficulties in swallowing are not observed.
  2. laryngitis Surgical treatment.Doctors often prefer this method in the absence of metastases and tumor germination in neighboring organs.The operation can be performed and organ-preserving( the tumor is excised), and radical( the larynx is removed along with the tumor, and a transplant is placed in its place).
  3. Radiation treatment.In general, for the radiation therapy there are a lot of variations and schemes, but a specific method of irradiation is chosen by a specialist individually.Cancer of the larynx implies a wide impact by ionizing radiation - the area from the clavicle to the lower jaw is affected.
  4. Combined treatment.In this case, the doctor combines radiotherapy and surgery, and to achieve the optimal effect, the break between these two methods of treatment of the disease in question should be at least 2 weeks.

It should be noted that scientists and doctors are constantly working on the development and implementation of new methods for treating throat cancer( larynx ).40 years ago, the diagnosis of the disease in question was tantamount to a sentence, now the percentage of recovery is approaching 63%.

Throat cancer( larynx) is a dangerous disease, like all malignant tumors.Only timely diagnostics and competent treatment are a guarantee of recovery, so a person should react even to minor discomfort in the throat area by applying for qualified medical care.

Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category

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