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20.7.09


Smokers are at the Highest Risk of Developing Throat Cancer

If you are a smoker, consume alcohol on a frequent basis, or if you use chewing tobacco, you are at an increased risk of developing throat cancer. If you fall into any of these categories, (and even if you don’t), you may have developed throat cancer if you have any of the following symptoms: a sore throat, head or neck, feeling like there is a lump in your throat or neck, having a hard time swallowing, constantly clearing your throat and sounding like your voice is hoarse, and/or noticing a change in the sound of your voice.

Being a smoker puts you at the greatest risk for developing throat cancer. Most (up to 95 percent) of throat cancer patients are or were smokers, and the more years you smoke the greater your risk.

Most cases of throat cancer can be prevented. Prevention is much more pleasant than undergoing the treatments, and advice and suggestions on how to prevent throat cancer are available from the American Cancer Society.

Other Throat Cancer Symptoms

There are other symptoms that may indicate you have throat cancer. Less obvious symptoms of throat, head and neck cancer can include feeling like your headache never goes away, having a hard time taking a deep breath, noticing that your nose bleeds all the time, tooth pain, and unexplained swelling in general throat area.

Throat Cancer Treatments

Throat cancer can be treated in a number of ways. Depending on the severity of the throat cancer, any combination of the following may be used to treat it:

Surgery – The surgery complexity will depend on the severity and extent of damage caused by the throat cancer.

Radiation – The radiation dose will vary depending on the size of the throat cancer tumor.

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy will attack the throat cancer cells and (hopefully) eliminate them. Side effects from chemotherapy are generally extremely unpleasant.

Throat Cancer Can be Prevented

There are many factors that contribute to the risk of developing throat cancer. If you do everything you possibly can to avoid smoking or breathing in second-hand smoke, and if you limit your alcoholic beverage intake, you will greatly reduce your risk of developing throat cancer.

Get Help from the American Cancer Society

If you suspect that you may have throat cancer, the American Cancer Society can be a good resource for you. The Society can provide you with more information regarding throat cancer – symptoms, treatment, after-care, and general support. Remember, if you are a throat cancer patient, there is help available.

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