Throat cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers in the world. It is an abnormality found either at the throat, the base of the tongue, the tonsils or the pharynx causing difficulty in chewing and swallowing, among others. It is a disease that affects more men than women over the age of 50 who smoke and consume heavy amounts of alcohol. In order to recognize throat cancer, see the list below of common signs attributed to the disease:
- A lump in the throat. Cancer occurs through the formation of abnormal cells that converge in lumps, more commonly known as a tumor. A sure indication of throat cancer is a lump in the throat or a sore throat that seems to never go away, because of the formation of cancer cells in the area. If it feels like there is something lodged in your throat that you can't seem to take away, immediately consult your doctor to check what is causing the lump, because it may very well lead to throat cancer.
- A persistent cough. A cough is less of a condition than your body's natural reaction to irritation in the throat area. If you have a cough that doesn't go away, it only means that your body is trying to eliminate the irritation in your throat, which could possibly be caused by these cancer cells.
- Phlegm with blood. Coupled with persistent cough, you may see signs of blood as you excrete phlegm from your throat caused by the degeneration of tissues around your pharynx. Persistent coughing can also "scratch" your throat and damage the lining, causing it to bleed.
- Pain or difficulty swallowing. This is probably one of the tell-tale signs of throat cancer. If, during meals, you find it difficult to swallow, or even when swallowing normally with saliva, be wary of its implications, because it just might be abnormalities caused by cancer that is making it hard for you to swallow.
- Hoarseness or breathing difficulty. Cancer cells in the throat area may also invade the voice box, so you may notice hoarseness of the voice or difficulty in breathing in cases of throat cancer. This may also lead to difficulty speaking, as the voice box basically controls your faculties for speech.
- Unintentional weight loss. All these symptoms are coupled with loss of appetite brought about by the difficulty in swallowing and general distaste for food. What follows is a dramatic change in weight, even if it is unintended. While some may appreciate shedding a few pounds, drastic weight loss isn't really normal to people, so have yourself checked if ever this happens.
Your best armor against cancer is information and early detection, so make sure to remember this list or keep it somewhere handy to check in times of speculation for cancer. Once you experience any or all of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult with your doctor right away to be issued treatment.