Ways to Diagnose Throat Cancer

Cancer doesn’t discriminate in its location and can grow in almost any part of the body, including the throat. The throat is a muscular tube that extends from behind the nose and ends at the bottom of the neck. Throat cancers are malignant tumors that can be found growing in the pharynx, the voice box (larynx) and the tonsils.

The first difficulties associated with throat cancer are problems in swallowing, speaking and breathing. In most cases, throat cancer develops in the flat cells found in the lining of the throat, and tends to grow rapidly. An early diagnosis improves chances of beating back the cancer and living a quality life. Some of the diagnostic procedures used include:

Imaging

Some of the imaging scans needed for diagnosis include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerized Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and x-rays. The images produced will help your doctor determine the extent to which the cancer has spread.

Endoscopy

In this procedure, the doctor uses a special lighted scope (endoscope) which helps him get a closer look inside the throat. A camera attached to one end of the endoscope transmits high definition images onto a video screen; the doctor can thus visualize the innards of the throat for any signs of abnormalities.

Laryngoscopy

This procedure is similar to an endoscopy, but uses a laryngoscope instead which is inserted into the voice box. A magnifying lens and light source attached to one end enables the doctor to visualize the vocal chords for abnormalities.

Biopsy

Biopsy is the procedure by which a small sample of tissue is harvested from the body in a minimally invasive manner. If endoscopy or laryngoscopy yields suspicious results, then the doctor may take the decision to remove a tiny tissue sample from the abnormal area in your throat. The doctor passes surgical instruments down the endoscope or laryngoscope tube and harvests a sample. This biopsy is then sent to the pathology lab for further examination. The doctor might also collect a sample from a nearby swollen lymph node through the process of Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA). This painless procedure can yield biopsy material to further endorse the throat biopsy findings.

Once there is a diagnosis of throat cancer, the next step is to determine the stage of the cancer (Stages I to IV). This lets you know how advanced the cancer is so that treatment modules can be planned accordingly.

The Sita Bhateja Specialty Hospital in Bangalore has a formidable team of specialists who are highly-experienced in rendering quality treatments to such cases. Do find out more about them here: http://www.sbshospital.com/.

Leave a reply