Throat Cancer

Throat Cancer

Caused when malignant cells affect the lining of the throat, larynx and tonsils, throat cancers commonly cause ear pain, painful swallowing and hoarseness. The throat, or pharynx, and our larynx, which houses our vocal cords, are so close together that they are often grouped together as throat cancers. When throat cancer is caught early, cancerous tumors can be removed with specialized surgical tools that can scrape them off. Quit smoking today to reduce your risk for developing throat cancer. More severe cases of throat cancers require the complete or partial removal of the larynx, throat or affected lymph nodes. Alcohol abuse, poor dental hygiene and exposure to asbestos also increase your risk for developing a throat cancer.

Recently Answered

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    AEric M. Genden, MD, Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    What should I ask my doctor if I'm diagnosed with throat cancer?

    Ask your doctor what the cause of your throat cancer is and what the options for treatment are. In this video, Eric Genden, MD, an otolaryngologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, offers his suggestions for what you should ask your doctor.


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    AEric M. Genden, MD, Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    What can I expect after robotic surgery for throat cancer?

    After surgery for throat cancer, the tumor is analyzed for its aggressiveness. In this video, Eric Genden, MD, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, explains the results determine treatment.


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    AEric M. Genden, MD, Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    What is the recovery time for robotic surgery for throat cancer?

    Robotic surgery has reduced the recovery time for throat surgery from 14 days down to just a few. In this video, Eric Genden, MD, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses surgery options, talks about the change.


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    AEric M. Genden, MD, Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    What are surgical options for throat cancer?

    Surgery for throat cancer is now often performed with minimally invasive surgery, using a laser and a robot. In this video, Eric Genden, MD, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses surgery options.


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    AHeidi Fantasia, Nursing, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

    Yes, HPV infection has been linked to oral, head and neck cancers, specifically oropharyngeal cancers of the tonsils and tongue base. The primary mode of transmission is thought to be oral-genital contact with an infected sexual partner. Men experience HPV-related oral cancers at a higher rate than women. Also, these cancers are more common among smokers and those who use alcohol. 

    Oral cancers of the throat are harder to diagnose because they often do not have symptoms until they are in later stages. There are also no specific tests to diagnose these cancers if a person is asymptomatic. 

    The best way to protect yourself against HPV-related disease is to limit lifetime sexual partners, use condoms with every sex act, choose partners that do not have multiple other partners, and limit tobacco and alcohol use.  

     

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    AEric M. Genden, MD, Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System

    People who have a persistent sore throat or enlarged lymphnodes should be examined. Getting screened is quick and painless. Doctors place a very thin, flexible telescope, the size of a piece of spaghetti, with a miniature camera on its tip, into the nose to examine the throat structures, including the vocal cords.

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    There are numerous research studies focusing on throat cancer. One area of research involves the body's immune system and how it reacts to cancer cells. Understanding this relationship will help to identify new treatments. Cancer researchers are also developing new screening methods, including a blood test to determine whether a tumor has returned or is in remission. Another topic of study is treatment options for more advanced stages of cancer. The research examines quality of life concerns and how best to address them.

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    A variety of clinical trials are being conducted for people with throat cancer who wish to participate. Research studies test new treatments that are not available outside of the experiment. Various aspects of throat cancer are being researched. New drugs, new drug combinations, and new therapies are subjects of clinical trials. Other research focuses on decreasing side effects of current therapies and new treatments for stopping tobacco use.

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    ABrett A. Miles, MD, Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    Head and neck cancer requires detailed evaluation and treatment planning and may involve surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Patients with head and neck cancer should be evaluated and treated by a multidiciplinary head and neck cancer team at large medical centers which have significant experience in this area to provide the best outcomes in terms of cure and function. 
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    The doctor will most likely ask questions about your medical history, perform an examination, and order additional tests if necessary. It is a good idea to prepare for your appointment in advance. Write down any questions you have. Also write down any information you think the doctor should know about your general health or specific symptoms. This includes all medications or vitamins you currently take. Bring someone with you who can help to remember information, since there will be a lot to cover.