Larynx Cancer (Throat Cancer)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What kind of support is available for those with throat cancer?

Most treatment methods involve continued support for those with throat cancer. Patients receive rehabilitation support such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Other patients may require additional surgical treatment such as reconstructive surgery and/or dental implants. In addition, speech pathologists, audiologists, and experts in swallowing rehabilitation may be needed. Support groups may provide additional support.

What is the prognosis for patients with throat cancer?

The prognosis or outcome for patients with throat cancer varies with the stage and location of the cancer. Most prognostic indicators are based on a 5-year relative survival rate that varies with the type of cancer and its stage. The best survival is in cancer of the glottis (90%) and worst is in cancer of the hypopharynx (53%), both beginning at stage I over a 5-year period. Unfortunately, in all individuals with throat cancer, the 5-year survival rate declines as the stages progress from 1 to IV. Consequently, the earlier the cancer is diagnosed and treated the better the potential outcome.

Can throat cancer be prevented?

Although general throat cancer screening is not available, those individuals that are at higher risk for throat cancer may need to see their physicians if any signs and symptoms raise suspicion of throat cancer. Consequently, those who are at increased risk such as individuals who smoke or who may have been exposed to HPV, asbestos, nickel, or sulfuric acid fumes are at higher risk. Avoiding such risky situations can reduce the risk of throat cancer but there is no guarantee that it can be prevented. However, one excellent way to reduce the cancer risk is to have young men and women vaccinated against HPV.

REFERENCES:

"Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer." American Cancer Society. 2 March 2015.

"Throat Cancer." M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/29/2015
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