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Throat Cancer Treatment

By Tyler Christopher

For throat cancer treatment, various surgical procedures and radiation therapy, which are often combined with chemotherapy, are available. Which method is used depends on the type, location, extent and size of the throat cancer, and throat cancer stage. The physicians deal with the throat cancer through means of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or in advanced tumors usually a combination of these treatment methods are implemented. To recognize the extent of the tumor, a detailed prior examination under anesthesia is necessary. The throat is a very important organ, and the throat cancer is not a highly malignant tumor. Therefore, throat cancer cure is the purpose of the doctor, as well as to retain as much as possible the normal throat pronunciation function.

Is throat cancer curable?

Radiation therapy for throat cancer

For T1, T2 throat cancers, the effects of radiation therapy and surgery are the same. Especially, the radiotherapy does not affect the pronunciation, it is regarded as the first choice. In addition, even if the radiotherapy treatment fails in some patients, the patients can still be treated by total laryngectomy.

For T3, T4 throat cancers, a combination of these treatment methods are selected. Before surgery, radiotherapy for throat cancer is often implemented. Later, a total laryngectomy operation is operated.

Preventive radiotherapy in the lower neck and supraclavicular area is able to control cervical lymph node metastasis of throat cancer. Radiation therapy is often combined with cervical lymph node clearance during surgery.

Postoperative chemotherapy is just as adjuvant therapy or dividends therapy.


The early throat cancer can also be cut off by partial laryngectomy.

If only a part of the throat is affected by throat cancer, only the affected tissue will be removed by the surgeon during the operation. This is done through the mouth or through a small incision in the neck from the outside. The so-called minimally invasive procedures, the opportunity is so greater, that the person then does not require any temporary or permanent artificial breathing hole.

In advanced stages of throat cancer, sometimes the entire throat must be removed. After such surgery (laryngectomy), normal breathing through the mouth or nose is no longer possible. In the front part of the neck, an artificial opening is created (tracheostomy). After removal of the larynx and normal speech is no longer possible. The patients can also learn another speech technology by phoniatrics by language training. In addition, electronic speech aid is available, which sound much more natural now than before. Which method at the end is the best for each individual, experts will decide.

Since throat cancer can spread to the neck lymph nodes, they are often removed during the surgery.

Postoperative Treatment

To kill any remaining cancer cells in the body, following the surgery, the doctors also often carry out a radiation therapy - often in combination with chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy may bring complications, such as throat edema, throat cartilage inflammation and throat cartilage necrosis in 5~10% of patients. Doctors should be aware of the occurrence of these complications, actively take remedial measures. Patients with postoperative dyspnea, laryngeal stridor, a sense of suffocation, should actively inform doctors. If the laryngeal cartilage has been involved by throat cancer, for these patients, surgery is preferred; As to whether postoperative radiotherapy, that should be decided according to the patient's personal situation.

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