Throat cancer - Diagnosis and treatment (2022)

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose throat cancer, your doctor may recommend:

  • Using a scope to get a closer look at your throat. Your doctor may use a special lighted scope (endoscope) to get a close look at your throat during a procedure called endoscopy. A camera at the end of the endoscope transmits images to a video screen that your doctor watches for signs of abnormalities in your throat.

    Another type of scope (laryngoscope) can be inserted in your voice box. It uses a magnifying lens to help your doctor examine your vocal cords. This procedure is called laryngoscopy.

  • Removing a tissue sample for testing. If abnormalities are found during an endoscopy or laryngoscopy, your doctor can pass surgical instruments through the scope to collect a tissue sample (biopsy). The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.

    In the lab, specially trained doctors (pathologists) will look for signs of cancer. The tissue sample may also be tested for HPV, since the presence of this virus impacts the treatment options for certain types of throat cancer.

  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests, including computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), may help your doctor determine the extent of your cancer beyond the surface of your throat or voice box.

Staging

Once throat cancer is diagnosed, the next step is to determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. Knowing the stage helps determine your treatment options.

The stage of throat cancer is characterized with the Roman numerals I through IV. Each subtype of throat cancer has its own criteria for each stage. In general, stage I throat cancer indicates a smaller tumor confined to one area of the throat. Later stages indicate more advanced cancer, with stage IV being the most advanced.

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  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Needle biopsy
  • Positron emission tomography scan
  • X-ray

Treatment

Your treatment options are based on many factors, such as the location and stage of your throat cancer, the type of cells involved, whether the cells show signs of HPV infection, your overall health, and your personal preferences. Discuss the benefits and risks of each of your options with your doctor. Together you can determine what treatments will be most appropriate for you.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to deliver radiation to the cancer cells, causing them to die.

Radiation therapy can come from a large machine outside your body (external beam radiation), or radiation therapy can come from small radioactive seeds and wires that can be placed inside your body, near your cancer (brachytherapy).

(Video) Throat cancer - symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment explained

For small throat cancers or throat cancers that haven't spread to the lymph nodes, radiation therapy may be the only treatment necessary. For more-advanced throat cancers, radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy or surgery. In very advanced throat cancers, radiation therapy may be used to reduce signs and symptoms and make you more comfortable.

Surgery

The types of surgical procedures you may consider to treat your throat cancer depend on the location and stage of your cancer. Options may include:

  • Surgery for small throat cancers or throat cancers that haven't spread to the lymph nodes. Throat cancer that is confined to the surface of the throat or the vocal cords may be treated surgically using endoscopy. Your doctor may insert a hollow endoscope into your throat or voice box and then pass special surgical tools or a laser through the scope. Using these tools, your doctor can scrape off, cut out or, in the case of the laser, vaporize very superficial cancers.
  • Surgery to remove all or part of the voice box (laryngectomy). For smaller tumors, your doctor may remove the part of your voice box that is affected by cancer, leaving as much of the voice box as possible. Your doctor may be able to preserve your ability to speak and breathe normally.

    For larger, more-extensive tumors, it may be necessary to remove your entire voice box. Your windpipe is then attached to a hole (stoma) in your throat to allow you to breathe (tracheotomy). If your entire larynx is removed, you have several options for restoring your speech. You can work with a speech pathologist to learn to speak without your voice box.

  • Surgery to remove part of the throat (pharyngectomy). Smaller throat cancers may require removing only small parts of your throat during surgery. Parts that are removed may be reconstructed in order to allow you to swallow food normally.

    Surgery to remove more of your throat usually includes removal of your voice box as well. Your doctor may be able to reconstruct your throat to allow you to swallow food.

  • Surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes (neck dissection). If throat cancer has spread deep within your neck, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove some or all of the lymph nodes to see if they contain cancer cells.

Surgery carries a risk of bleeding and infection. Other possible complications, such as difficulty speaking or swallowing, will depend on the specific procedure you undergo.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells.

Chemotherapy is often used along with radiation therapy in treating throat cancers. Certain chemotherapy drugs make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy. But combining chemotherapy and radiation therapy increases the side effects of both treatments.

Discuss with your doctor the side effects you're likely to experience and whether combined treatments will offer benefits that outweigh those effects.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drugs treat throat cancer by taking advantage of specific defects in cancer cells that fuel the cells' growth.

As an example, the drug cetuximab (Erbitux) is one targeted therapy approved for treating throat cancer in certain situations. Cetuximab stops the action of a protein that's found in many types of healthy cells, but is more prevalent in certain types of throat cancer cells.

Other targeted drugs are available and more are being studied in clinical trials. Targeted drugs can be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body's disease-fighting immune system may not attack your cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that help them hide from the immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process.

(Video) Throat cancer survivor remained positive throughout his treatment

Immunotherapy treatments are generally reserved for people with advanced throat cancer that's not responding to standard treatments.

Rehabilitation after treatment

Treatment for throat cancer often causes complications that may require working with specialists to regain the ability to swallow, eat solid foods and talk. During and after throat cancer treatment, your doctor may have you seek help for:

  • The care of a surgical opening in your throat (stoma) if you had a tracheotomy
  • Eating difficulties
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Stiffness and pain in your neck
  • Speech problems

Your doctor can discuss the potential side effects and complications of your treatments with you.

Supportive (palliative) care

Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support that complements your ongoing care. Palliative care can be used while undergoing other aggressive treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

When palliative care is used along with all of the other appropriate treatments, people with cancer may feel better and live longer.

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specially trained professionals. Palliative care teams aim to improve the quality of life for people with cancer and their families. This form of care is offered alongside curative or other treatments you may be receiving.

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  • Throat cancer care at Mayo Clinic
  • Brachytherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Home enteral nutrition
  • Radiation therapy
  • Transoral robotic surgery

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Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Quit smoking

Throat cancers are closely linked to smoking. Not everyone with throat cancer smokes. But if you do smoke, now is the time to stop because:

  • Smoking makes treatment less effective
  • Smoking makes it harder for your body to heal after surgery
  • Smoking increases your risk of getting another cancer in the future

Stopping smoking can be very difficult. And it's that much harder when you're trying to cope with a stressful situation, such as a cancer diagnosis. Your doctor can discuss all of your options, including medications, nicotine replacement products and counseling.

Quit drinking alcohol

Alcohol, particularly when combined with smoking or chewing tobacco, greatly increases the risk of throat cancer. If you drink alcohol, stop now. This may help reduce your risk of a second cancer. Stopping drinking may also help you better tolerate your throat cancer treatments.

(Video) Thyroid Cancer - What Is It? What are the Symptoms and Treatment? - Head and Neck Cancer

Alternative medicine

No alternative treatments have proved helpful in treating throat cancer. However, some complementary and alternative treatments may help you cope with your diagnosis and with the side effects of throat cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor about your options.

Alternative treatments you may find helpful include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation techniques

Coping and support

Being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating. Throat cancer affects a part of your body that is vital to everyday activities, such as breathing, eating and talking. In addition to worrying about how these basic activities may be affected, you may also be concerned about your treatments and chances for survival.

Though you may feel like your life — your survival — is out of your hands, you can take steps to feel more in control and to cope with your throat cancer diagnosis. To cope, try to:

  • Learn enough about throat cancer to make treatment decisions. Write down a list of questions to ask your doctor at your next appointment. Ask your doctor about further sources of information about your cancer. Knowing more about your specific condition may help you feel more comfortable when making treatment decisions.
  • Find someone to talk with. Seek out sources of support that can help you deal with the emotions you're feeling. You may have a close friend or family member who is a good listener. Clergy members and counselors are other options. Consider joining a support group for people with cancer. Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society (ACS) or Support for People With Oral and Head and Neck Cancer. The ACS's Cancer Survivors Network offers online message boards and chatrooms that you can use to connect with others with throat cancer.
  • Take care of yourself during cancer treatment. Make keeping your body healthy during treatment a priority. Avoid extra stress. Get enough sleep each night so that you wake feeling rested. Take a walk or find time to exercise when you feel up to it. Make time for relaxing, such as listening to music or reading a book.
  • Go to all of your follow-up appointments. Your doctor will schedule follow-up exams every few months during the first two years after treatment, and then less frequently. These exams allow your doctor to monitor your recovery and check for a cancer recurrence.

    Follow-up exams can make you nervous, since they may remind you of your initial diagnosis and treatment. You may fear that your cancer has come back. Expect some anxiety around the time of each follow-up appointment. Plan ahead by finding relaxing activities that can help redirect your mind away from your fears.

Preparing for your appointment

Make an appointment with your family doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you. If your doctor suspects you may have cancer or another disease that affects your throat, you may be referred to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.

Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of information to discuss, it's a good idea to be prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
  • Consider taking a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For throat cancer, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • Are there other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the approach that you're suggesting?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
  • What will determine whether I should plan for a follow-up visit?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask other questions that occur to you.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow time later to cover points you want to address. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?

What you can do in the meantime

If you use tobacco, stop. Avoid doing things that worsen your symptoms. If you have throat pain, avoid foods and drinks that cause further irritation. If you're having trouble eating because of throat pain, consider nutritional supplement drinks. These may be less irritating to your throat while still offering the calories and nutrients you need.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

(Video) Throat Cancer - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Dr. Saurabha Kumar

Jan. 14, 2021

FAQs

How successful is throat cancer treatment? ›

Throat cancers may be cured when detected early. If the cancer has not spread (metastasized) to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in the neck, about one half of patients can be cured. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and parts of the body outside the head and neck, the cancer is not curable.

What is the most common treatment for throat cancer? ›

The most common treatments for throat cancers include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Targeted therapy may be used to treat advanced forms of throat cancer.

How long does throat cancer take to treat? ›

The course of treatment usually lasts for 3 to 7 weeks. As well as killing cancerous cells, radiotherapy can affect healthy tissue and has a number of side effects, including: sore skin which may look red or darker, depending on your skin tone (like sunburn)

What percentage of people survive throat cancer? ›

Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time (usually 5 years) after they were diagnosed.
...
Glottis (part of the larynx including the vocal cords)
SEER stage5-year relative survival rate
All SEER stages combined77%
3 more rows
1 Mar 2022

Can you live a normal life after throat cancer? ›

With treatment, many people live a long life after throat cancer, especially when it's caught early.

Can you live 10 years with throat cancer? ›

For all head and neck cancer subtypes, one-year survival falls between 1 and 5 years after diagnosis, though the gradient of the fall varies between subtypes. For most head and neck cancer subtypes, one-year survival falls between 5 and 10 years after diagnosis.

What is the latest treatment for throat cancer? ›

For small throat cancers or throat cancers that haven't spread to the lymph nodes, radiation therapy may be the only treatment necessary. For more-advanced throat cancers, radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy or surgery.

Can throat cancer be cured by surgery? ›

If the tumor is small and localized, surgery will often successfully remove the tumor with few side effects. However, if the tumor is advanced and has spread to surrounding areas, surgery will be more extensive and may involve the removal of parts of your throat, mouth, jaw or voice box.

How do they remove throat cancer? ›

Total or partial pharyngectomy

Surgery to remove all or part of the pharynx (throat) is called a pharyngectomy. This operation might be used to treat cancers of the hypopharynx. Often, the larynx is removed along with the hypopharynx.

How long can you live with throat cancer treatment? ›

Around 90 out of 100 adults (around 90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis. Stage 1 laryngeal cancer is only in one part of the larynx and the vocal cords are still able to move.

What stage is throat cancer usually diagnosed? ›

Throat cancer may be stage IV when it is first diagnosed.

How many chemo treatments are needed for throat cancer? ›

Common schedules of chemo cycles can be once a week, once every 3 weeks, or once every 4 weeks. The schedule depends on the drugs used. The chemo schedule repeats to start the next cycle. Adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemo is often given for a total of 3 to 6 months, depending on the drugs used.

Is Stage 2 throat cancer curable? ›

Most stage I and II laryngeal cancers can be treated successfully without removing the whole larynx. Either radiation alone or surgery with a partial laryngectomy can be used in most people.

Can throat cancer come back after treatment? ›

You may be relieved to finish treatment, yet it's hard not to worry about cancer coming back (recurring). This is very common if you've had cancer. For others, the cancer might never go away completely. Some people may still may get regular treatments to try and control the cancer for as long as possible.

Can cancer be cured completely? ›

Cancer is a group of diseases that we may never be able to cure completely, but scientists are optimistic that vaccines, personalised medicine and smart lifestyle choices will help prevent and treat a much greater proportion of cases than currently happens.

What is the best drink for cancer patients? ›

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides the following list of clear liquids:
  • Bouillon.
  • Clear, fat-free broth.
  • Clear carbonated beverages.
  • Consommé
  • Apple/cranberry/grape juice.
  • Fruit ices without fruit pieces.
  • Fruit ices without milk.
  • Fruit punch.

How serious is throat cancer? ›

It can affect both adults and children. According to the NCI, cancer in the throat or mouth causes 1.8% of all cancer deaths, making it rare. In its most recent estimates, the American Cancer Society (ACS) projected about 12,620 new cases of throat cancer in 2021 and around 3,770 deaths due to the disease.

What is the best food for throat cancer? ›

Poultry, meat, eggs, beans, nuts and nut butters, and dairy products are all good sources of protein. You should try to choose foods that are high in protein in all your meals and snacks. Nuts and nut butters, avocados, olive or canola oils, and whole fat dairy products are good sources of calories.

Whats the longest you can live with throat cancer? ›

Overall, for all cases and types of laryngeal cancer, about 55% of patients survive for 10 years or more after diagnosis.

Does radiotherapy cure throat cancer? ›

Radiation therapy is known for its particular effectiveness against head and neck tumors, including cancer of the throat. Radiation therapy can be used in one of several ways to treat throat cancer. It may be recommended as the main treatment to destroy the tumor.

Why does throat cancer happen? ›

Throat cancer occurs when cells in your throat develop genetic mutations. These mutations cause cells to grow uncontrollably and continue living after healthy cells would normally die. The accumulating cells can form a tumor in your throat.

At what stage of cancer is chemotherapy used? ›

Your doctor might suggest chemotherapy if there is a chance that your cancer might spread in the future. Or if it has already spread. Sometimes cancer cells break away from a tumour. They may travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.

How much radiation do you get for throat cancer? ›

How Does MSK Reduce Radiation and Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer? Radiation dosage is measured in units called grays (Gy). After the patient has surgery, the standard approach for head and neck cancer has been 70 Gy of radiation over seven weeks, along with three cycles of chemotherapy.

When should I worry about throat cancer? ›

The most common early warning sign of throat cancer is a persistent sore throat. If you have a sore throat lasts for more than two weeks, the American Cancer Society recommends you see a doctor immediately.

Where does throat cancer spread to? ›

Most head and neck cancers are squamous cell cancers. Squamous cells are flat, skin like cells that cover the lining of the mouth, nose, larynx, thyroid, and throat. This type of cancer can spread to lymph nodes (also called lymph glands) in the neck.

Can early stage cancer be cured? ›

Stage 1 cancer is also curable, especially when caught in its early stages. The earlier you detect cancer, the higher your odds are of curing it before it becomes severe. Cancer is a vicious disease that targets healthy and normal cells in the body to cause mutations.

How throat cancer is diagnosed? ›

Biopsy. A sample of throat tissues or cells is required for a biopsy, which must be conducted before treatment begins. The types of biopsies typically used for diagnosing throat and other head and neck cancers are: Endoscopic biopsy: An instrument called an endoscope is inserted into one of the nostrils or the mouth.

Can throat cancer be cured with chemotherapy? ›

Chemotherapy may be used after throat cancer surgery to kill remaining tumor cells. The treatment also may be used as a first-line treatment, either alone or in combination with radiation therapy, for patients whose throat cancer has advanced.

How long is throat surgery recovery? ›

Your throat may feel sore or slightly swollen for 2 to 5 days. You may sound hoarse for 1 to 8 weeks, depending on what was done during the procedure. Your doctor may ask you to speak as little as you can for 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure. If you speak, use your normal tone of voice and do not talk for very long.

How long do you have to live with Stage 4 throat cancer? ›

This means the cancer has spread to nearby tissue, one or more lymph nodes on the neck, or other parts of the body beyond the throat. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) , the 5-year relative survival rate for the most advanced stage of throat cancer is 39.1 percent.

Can you survive throat cancer without treatment? ›

The survival of patients with stage T4a larynx cancer who are untreated is typically less than one year. The symptoms associated with untreated disease include severe pain and inability to eat, drink, and swallow. Death can frequently occur due to asphyxiation of the airway from the untreated tumor.

Can Stage 4 throat cancer survive? ›

The five-year relative survival rate for patients diagnosed with stage 3 hypopharyngeal throat cancer, is 41.8%. The five-year relative survival rate for patients diagnosed with stage 4 hypopharyngeal throat cancer, is 22%.

Can an endoscopy detect throat cancer? ›

You will usually need an endoscopy if your doctor suspects throat cancer. The procedure uses a special camera to look inside your throat. The doctor will be able to take a biopsy or sample of any abnormalities that are found during endoscopy. Other tests used to diagnose throat cancer include CT scans and MRIs.

How fast does oral cancer spread? ›

This disease spreads very quickly, especially for people who use tobacco alcohol and are over 50 years old. It takes approximately five years for oral cancer to develop from stage one to four. Therefore it is important to identify it early when there is a greater chance of cure.

Can cancer in the neck be cured? ›

How head and neck cancer is treated. Many cancers of the head and neck can be cured, especially if they are found early. Although eliminating the cancer is the primary goal of treatment, preserving the function of the nearby nerves, organs, and tissues is also very important.

How painful is throat radiation? ›

Radiotherapy for cancer in the head or neck area can cause swelling and soreness in the throat. Your throat might be very sore and you may find it difficult to swallow solid food (dysphagia). Whether you have problems swallowing depends on which part of the head or neck you are having treatment to.

What happens when chemo doesn't work? ›

Other options. If cancer does not respond to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other treatments, palliative care is still an option. A person can receive palliative care with other treatments or on its own.

What happens when throat cancer spreads to lymph nodes? ›

If cancer cells have spread to your lymph nodes (or beyond your lymph nodes to another part of the body), symptoms may include: lump or swelling in your neck, under your arm, or in your groin. swelling in your stomach (if the cancer spreads to your liver) shortness of breath (if the cancer spreads to the lungs)

What is another name for throat cancer? ›

Most throat cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells that look like fish scales). Also called pharyngeal cancer.

What is Stage 4a throat cancer? ›

Stage IV laryngeal cancer is divided into stages IVA, IVB, and IVC. In stage IVA, (1) cancer has spread through the thyroid cartilage and/or has spread to tissues beyond the larynx, such as the neck, trachea, thyroid, or esophagus.

Does Stage 2 cancer require chemo? ›

In general, stage 2 cancers tend to be treated locally with surgery and/or radiation. At times, chemotherapy or other drug therapies may also be a part of stage 2 cancer treatment. Below, find stage 2 cancer treatment options for the five most common cancers.

Can throat cancer go into remission? ›

What are the Chances That Head and Neck Cancer Will Recur? That depends on the stage at diagnosis. Eighty to 90 percent of people with early disease (stage I and II) will go into remission with a low likelihood of recurrence if they make certain lifestyle changes, like stopping tobacco and alcohol use.

How often does throat cancer recur? ›

The recurrence rate was 32.7%. The recurrence time ranged from 2 to 96 months, with a median of 14 months.

What is the success rate of radiation therapy? ›

When it comes to early stages of disease, patients very frequently do well with either brachytherapy or external beam radiation. Success rates of around 90% or higher can be achieved with either approach.

What cancers Cannot be cured? ›

Jump to:
  • Pancreatic cancer.
  • Mesothelioma.
  • Gallbladder cancer.
  • Esophageal cancer.
  • Liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer.
  • Lung and bronchial cancer.
  • Pleural cancer.
  • Acute monocytic leukemia.
12 Sept 2022

What is the most treatable cancer? ›

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is more common than any form of cancer. It is also the cancer with the highest survival rate. In fact, if skin cancer is detected early, the survival rate is close to 100 percent, according to the American Academy of Dermatology [4].

Which stage cancer is curable? ›

In situ means "in place." Stage 0 cancers are still located in the place they started. They have not spread to nearby tissues. This stage of cancer is often curable.

How long can you live with throat cancer treatment? ›

Around 90 out of 100 adults (around 90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis. Stage 1 laryngeal cancer is only in one part of the larynx and the vocal cords are still able to move.

How serious is throat cancer? ›

It can affect both adults and children. According to the NCI, cancer in the throat or mouth causes 1.8% of all cancer deaths, making it rare. In its most recent estimates, the American Cancer Society (ACS) projected about 12,620 new cases of throat cancer in 2021 and around 3,770 deaths due to the disease.

What stage is throat cancer usually diagnosed? ›

Throat cancer may be stage IV when it is first diagnosed.

How many chemo treatments are needed for throat cancer? ›

Common schedules of chemo cycles can be once a week, once every 3 weeks, or once every 4 weeks. The schedule depends on the drugs used. The chemo schedule repeats to start the next cycle. Adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemo is often given for a total of 3 to 6 months, depending on the drugs used.

Whats the longest you can live with throat cancer? ›

Overall, for all cases and types of laryngeal cancer, about 55% of patients survive for 10 years or more after diagnosis.

Can throat cancer come back after treatment? ›

You may be relieved to finish treatment, yet it's hard not to worry about cancer coming back (recurring). This is very common if you've had cancer. For others, the cancer might never go away completely. Some people may still may get regular treatments to try and control the cancer for as long as possible.

Is Stage 2 throat cancer curable? ›

Most stage I and II laryngeal cancers can be treated successfully without removing the whole larynx. Either radiation alone or surgery with a partial laryngectomy can be used in most people.

Why does throat cancer happen? ›

Throat cancer occurs when cells in your throat develop genetic mutations. These mutations cause cells to grow uncontrollably and continue living after healthy cells would normally die. The accumulating cells can form a tumor in your throat.

Can cancer be cured completely? ›

Cancer is a group of diseases that we may never be able to cure completely, but scientists are optimistic that vaccines, personalised medicine and smart lifestyle choices will help prevent and treat a much greater proportion of cases than currently happens.

Where does throat cancer usually start? ›

Throat cancers grow in the organs that help you swallow, speak, and breathe. About half of these cancers happen in the throat itself, the tube that starts behind your nose and ends in your neck. It's also called the "pharynx." The rest start in the voice box, or "larynx."

What are the final stages of throat cancer? ›

Stage 4 is the most advanced stage of throat cancer. This means the cancer has spread to nearby tissue, one or more lymph nodes on the neck, or other parts of the body beyond the throat.

When should I worry about throat cancer? ›

The most common early warning sign of throat cancer is a persistent sore throat. If you have a sore throat lasts for more than two weeks, the American Cancer Society recommends you see a doctor immediately.

Can early stage cancer be cured? ›

Stage 1 cancer is also curable, especially when caught in its early stages. The earlier you detect cancer, the higher your odds are of curing it before it becomes severe. Cancer is a vicious disease that targets healthy and normal cells in the body to cause mutations.

Does chemotherapy work for throat cancer? ›

Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often used along with radiation therapy in treating throat cancers.

What treatment is given for throat cancer? ›

There are several ways to treat throat cancer, including: surgery to remove the cancer. radiation therapy, using high-energy rays such as x-rays to destroy cancer cells. chemotherapy with drugs that kill cancer cells.

How many radiotherapy sessions are needed for throat cancer? ›

You usually have treatment daily, from Monday to Friday for about 4 to 6 weeks. This is about 20 to 30 separate treatments (fractions).

Videos

1. Throat cancer - Symptoms, causes and Treatment. Laryngeal Cancer and Pharyngeal Cancer
(Kote's Medical Animations)
2. Throat Cancer: Diagnosis & Treatment options available - Dr. Basawantrao Malipatil
(Doctors' Circle World's Largest Health Platform)
3. Hypopharyngeal & Laryngeal Cancer - What Is It? What are Symptoms & Treatment? Head and Neck Cancer
(Head and Neck Cancer Australia)
4. Throat Cancer - Know Your Throat | Cancer Research UK
(Cancer Research UK)
5. Throat Cancer: Who, Why and What Now? | Abie Mendelsohn, MD | UCLAMDChat
(UCLA Health)
6. Jeff's throat cancer battle - Episode 1
(The OTHER Jeff Johnson)

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