Throat problems run the gamut from minor annoyance to serious issue.
Sore throats are characterized by pain and scratchiness
The most common cause for a sore throat is a viral infection. That’s why sore throats frequently accompany colds and the flu. Many allergies also are accompanied by a sore throat. Although these sore throats cause discomfort, they usually resolve themselves.
On the other hand, strep throat, the most common form caused by a bacterial infection, should be treated with an antibiotic. Strep throat is diagnosed by taking a swab sample for either a Rapid Antigen Test or a throat culture. It’s important to treat strep throat and to finish the complete course of medication; complications can lead to such serious conditions as rheumatic fever.
A sore throat can also be a sign of throat cancer. You should consult a doctor when your sore throat persists longer than a week and you also experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Throat Cancer Diagnosis
Tumors can develop in your throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils. Diagnosis usually begins with getting a closer look at your throat, using a procedure called endoscopy. A similar procedure can be performed to examine your larynx.
If any abnormalities are found, a biopsy can be done during the endoscopy. A surgical instrument can collect a small tissue sample for testing in a laboratory.
Additional imaging diagnostic tests include X-ray, computerized tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These tests provide more detailed information about the extent of cancer.
As with other cancers, your cancer will be evaluated in terms of the stage from early to advanced. The stage of your cancer determines your treatment.
Treatment of throat cancer
Depending on the type, location, and extent of cancer, you will undergo one or a combination of treatments, including:
Endoscopy can be used in some early-stage cancers.
Laryngectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the voice box.
Paryngectomy is the surgical removal of part of the throat.
Targeted drug therapy
Recovery and rehabilitation
Treatments for throat cancers create a number of complications. You can expect to work with specialists to help you with problems swallowing, eating, and speaking.
From the common sore throat to cancers of the throat, Baker ENT will diagnose and treat whatever health concern you face. Contact our office for an appointment.