📩 24/04/2022 11:43
Laryngeal cancer, which is seen in an average of 100 out of every 5 thousand people in our country, occurs as a result of uncontrolled proliferation of cells lining the inner surface of the larynx and becoming a tumor. Although laryngeal cancer, which is the most important risk factor for smoking and alcohol use, is usually seen at the age of 40 and above, it can rarely occur in people under the age of 30. As with all types of cancer, early diagnosis is of great importance in laryngeal cancer. Because, patients who are diagnosed early have a very high chance of completely surviving throat cancer. Moreover, since the disease does not spread, it is sufficient to remove only a small part of the organ, thus protecting the patient's 'voice'. Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Ear Nose and Throat Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Pointing out that hoarseness is the most common early symptom of laryngeal cancer, Nazım Korkut said, “For this reason, an ear, nose and throat specialist should be consulted in cases of hoarseness for more than 15 days. Especially in cancers originating from the upper part of the larynx, sore throat that develops in the early period without hoarseness is another important symptom. Ear pain may accompany this picture. Therefore, close examination of throat and ear pains that occur without any other reason is extremely important for early diagnosis.
Pay attention to the symptoms of throat cancer!
Ear Nose and Throat Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Nazım Korkut lists the symptoms of throat cancer as follows:
- hoarseness lasting more than 15 days
- Sore throat that develops without hoarseness
- Ear pain accompanying sore throat
- A feeling of being stuck in the throat
- Swelling in the neck area
- Shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, cough and bloody sputum
Smoking increases the risk 20 times!
Cigarettes and other tobacco products are among the leading causes of laryngeal cancer. Cigarette consumption increases the risk of laryngeal cancer almost 20 times. “The most important point here is the amount of cigarettes consumed daily and the duration of use. Especially with consumption of more than 3 packs a day, the risk of laryngeal cancer increases a lot. Dr. Nazım Korkut lists other risk factors as follows: “Alcohol use is also an important risk factor for laryngeal cancer. Consuming it with cigarettes and tobacco products increases the risk much more. In addition to these, the incidence of laryngeal cancer is higher in some occupational groups such as petro-chemistry, paint industry, woodworking and furniture industry compared to other segments of the society. For this reason, measures such as ventilation of the environment and protective masks are of vital importance in risky occupational groups. In recent years, the incidence of laryngeal cancer has been increasing in gastroesophageal reflux patients. Another risk factor is HPV, that is, the human papillomavirus. Therefore, health problems such as reflux and HPV that predispose to cancer must also be treated.
'Uninterrupted' treatment with laser method!
Laryngeal cancer is a curable disease. So much so that when caught at an early stage, patients can be fully cured. Ear Nose and Throat Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Nazım Korkut stated that there are three options for treatment, namely surgery, radiotherapy and, to a lesser extent, chemotherapy. This is a modern method in which a day or overnight stay in the hospital is sufficient. The same process can be done with the classical open technique. In this case, a hole is made in the patient's throat for a few days for the safety of the respiratory tract.
In the advanced stage, 'voice prosthesis' provides benefits!
One of the most important points that worry patients in throat cancer is the risk of losing their voice! When laryngeal cancer is diagnosed early, the patient's voice can be preserved, but as the disease progresses, more tissue will be removed from the larynx, so the voice never regains its original state. However, the patient can easily continue his normal life with his current voice. In more advanced disease, the entire larynx has to be removed and the patient lives with a hole in his throat (tracheostomy) for life. If necessary, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are also applied to these patients in advanced stages after surgery. Emphasizing that the most important problem in patients who have the entire larynx removed is the inability to speak, Prof. Dr. Nazım Korkut said, “For this, esophageal sound can be produced with special training, but the success rate is low. Another method that is currently and frequently used is the insertion of a voice prosthesis between the remaining trachea and the esophagus. All patients who are deprived of their larynx can speak with a voice prosthesis. In this way, patients can easily communicate, and those who wish can continue their careers.