You are not alone who wants to know how to check for throat cancer at home. This information can be beneficial, especially for a person who may be experiencing throat cancer symptoms and who can visit the hospital due to some situations.
One can quickly test if they have throat cancer or not at home by knowing the process. One may need to do an oral, head, and neck self-exam to identify themselves for throat cancer. Doing so helps them detect the cancer early so they can get help from medical assistance before showing effects on patients.
In this article, you will find what throat cancer is, its symptoms what throat cancer looks like, its causes, and how to detect it at home.
What Is Throat Cancer?
Throat cancer is a sort of head and neck cancer that affects one or more sections of your throat. People originate throat cancer in the larynx (voice box) or oropharynx (the middle of their throat). The earliest signs are thickened white patches.
Besides, Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is one of the common cancers that is often caused by smoking and tobacco. Now, let's check out what are the symptoms of throat cancer.
What Are Throat Cancer Symptoms?
The throat can consist of many types of cancer affecting many parts in different ways of your throat. Here are some common throat cancer symptoms:
- Sore throat for a few weeks.
- Pain or difficulty eating food (dysphagia).
- Voice changes, like hoarseness, from a few weeks.
- Swellings in the mouth or the back of the throat.
- Ear pain for a few weeks.
However, experiencing these symptoms is also a sign of other medical conditions. It does not always mean you have throat cancer. But if you suffer from these symptoms for weeks, consult your healthcare provider to find the root cause.
What Are The Causes Of Throat Cancer?
When something starts to change in the genetic cells of your throat, it may be a sign of throat cancer. These changes turn healthy cells into harmful cells that grow and multiply.
The investigation of these changes is still being researched. But they’ve related throat cancer to some actions and medical disorders that raise your risk of throat cancer. Here are the causes of throat cancer:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco and snuffing tobacco products is the most effective risk of head and neck cancer developing throat cancer.
- Drinking more than an average amount of alcohol can cause throat cancer.
- Having a sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV).
How To Check Throat Cancer At Home?
Early detection and diagnosis of any cancer is necessary for successfully treating oral, head, and neck cancers. If a cancer is detected at the I and II stages, it may have high survival percentages.
This type of cancer has an 80% chance of survival. However, suppose the cancer is detected at the more advanced stage.
In that case, the survival rates for people become lower, and treatment becomes more invasive with noticeable side effects, impacting a person's life by the inability to do things independently.
Below are the steps to self-exam oral, head, and neck to detect throat cancer:
- Check if there is any swelling on your neck, as it can be a sign of back of throat cancer. If yes, consult your healthcare.
- Check your lips and cheeks. Consult a doctor if you notice irregular, abnormal, or discolored areas or swelling.
- Next is to check your gums. You may have throat cancer if there are any irregular, abnormal, swelling, or discolored sections. Consult your doctor to confirm this.
- The other thing is to check your mouth. Observe your tongue’s top using a flashlight from all the sides, bottom, back, roof, and under the tongue. You may have throat cancer if there are irregular, abnormal, swelling, or discolored areas. Consult your doctor to confirm this.
- Remember to watch out during the self-examination for the following:
- Red or white patches around the area of your lips, cheeks, tongue, or on your mouth’s roof.
- Swellings on your mouth, throat, or neck area.
If you find any of these things and they stay for a more extended period, like 2 or more weeks, immediately consult a doctor or other medical facility to know why.
Knowing how to self-examine the head and neck can help you detect throat cancer quickly and easily at home rather than visiting an expensive hospital. After learning to check throat cancer at home and observe some changes, you can repeat this self-examination monthly.
By following the above steps, try to observe any areas that may be strange, irregular, or discolored. This may be especially helpful if you lack any severe signs of throat cancer that are major or severe enough to be looked at by a medical professional.
Also, it helps notice a disorder that may sometimes be very severe in its symptoms, especially in later stages. Following these steps, one can quickly recognize and detect signs before the cancer progresses. This may be very important for the patient and could even save their life.
Understanding how to check throat cancer at home may be greatly helpful for someone experiencing mild symptoms and may require medical attention if they are too severe.
1. Can a throat tumor be removed?
Ans: Doctors can successfully remove the cancer through surgery with few side effects if your tumor is small and localized. If the tumor in the throat has advanced and affected the surrounding sections, surgery will be complex as it can involve the removal of parts of your throat, jaw, mouth, or voice box.
2. Does HPV cause throat cancer?
Ans: Yes, the type of HPV oropharyngeal can cause throat cancer. Approximately 1% of men and women suffer from HPV infection, leading to the development of throat cancer.
3. Can throat cancer be cured?
Ans: Healthcare professionals may be able to cure throat cancer that hasn’t extended to nearby tissues or lymph nodes, and it is named localized cancer. Approximately 52% and 83% of people with localized laryngeal cancer live five years after diagnosis.
4. How to reduce the risk of developing throat cancer?
Ans: Avoid tobacco and regularly drink alcohol. People having HPV infections can get the HPV vaccine and develop healthy eating habits, which include vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.