Since actor and Academy Award winner Michael Douglas was diagnosed with a throat tumor, many of us may want to know more about throat tumors and throat cancer, especially the signs and symptoms of these. First, of all one must realize that a throat tumor can actually grow anywhere in the throat or mouth region. This includes the back part of one’s mouth, the front part under one’s tongue and in the tonsil region. The location of a tumor can cause different types of symptoms.
However the most common symptoms and signs to look for are:
• Red patches anywhere in the mouth
• White patches anywhere in the mouth
• Painful swallowing
• A sore throat that refuses to leave
• Food that gets stuck in the throat while eating
• Ongoing hoarseness
• Ear pain
• Weight loss
• Feeling an actually lump anywhere in the mouth or throat region
What can cause throat cancer?
• Using Tobacco: smoking and chewing
• Drinking too much alcohol
• Practicing poor dental hygiene
• Being exposed to the HPV virus
• Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
• Being exposed to asbestos
As with any type of cancer, early detection is the key to survival. For this reason, if you are exhibiting any of the above signs or symptoms you should make an appointment with your physician immediately. Your physician will more than likely want to run some tests on you before a diagnose can be given. The first test suggested will probably be a laryngoscope where a scope with a special light on the end can be used to go down your throat to get a closer look at your throat. If any abnormalities is found during this test, then a special surgical instrument can also be ran down your throat to extract a small amount of tissue from your throat to be tested.
Of course, your physician may chose to run X-rays on your throat.
Treatment of throat cancer basically depends on the type of cancer that is involved, but can involve:
• Surgery to remove the tumor and possibly part of the lymph nodes
• Chemo therapy
• Combination of the above
Cure rate usually is estimated in five year stretches. This rate depends on such things as:
• Location of tumor
• Size of tumor
• Whether lymph nodes are involved
It is not being said exactly what throat tumor Michael Douglas has. It has been stated that he will undergo 8 weeks of chemo therapy and radiation.