Throat Cancer Treatment
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Throat Cancer
Once throat cancer is found, staging tests are done to find out if the cancer has spread. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer.
This is surgery to remove the cancerous tumor and nearby tissue, and possibly nearby lymph nodes. In very rare cases, surgery to remove large tumors of the throat may also require removal of tissue for swallowing. As a result, food may enter the windpipe and reach the lungs, which might cause Pneumonia. In cases when this is a risk, your surgeon may remove the larynx or voice box. She will attach the windpipe to the skin through a hole in the neck, which is used for breathing.
This is the use of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may be:
External radiation therapy-radiation directed at the tumor from a source outside the body
Internal radiation therapy-radioactive materials placed into the throat in or near the cancer cells
This is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given in many forms including pill, injection, and via a catheter. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells, but also some healthy cells.
Combined Modality Therapy
Often times, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used together to kill cancer of the Laryngeal Cancer and pharynx (throat). This combined approach may be better than surgery or radiation alone.