Living with Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Living With Lung Cancer

Head & Neck/Throat cancer refers to any number of cancers that affect the larynx (voice box), esophagus and surrounding tissues. It may also be referred to as laryngeal, pharyngeal, or hypopharyngeal cancer. The vast majority of throat cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, which are cancers of the thin, flat cells that line the larynx and hypopharynx. Fewer than 15,000 new cases of throat cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year and the five-year survival rate is often above 50%.

The biggest risk factor for developing throat cancer is tobacco use, including cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking, as well as use of chewing tobacco. Excessve alcohol use is also a predominant risk factor for throat cancer, and the combination of alcohol and tobacco increases that risk exponentially. Other risk factors for throat cancer include diet, race, and workplace toxins. Symptoms of throat cancer include a persistent cough, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, and changes in voice. The stages of throat cancer range from zero to IV, depending on how widely it may have spread. Throat cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these.

For more information on throat cancer, read the American Cancer Society's detailed guide.

If you have been affected by throat cancer, please be sure to take some time to read others' experiences, share your own experiences, and ask or answer questions. Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.

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    • GregP_WN
    • Question about Invasive, Squamous Ce...
    1 day ago
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    Has anyone had a case of never-ending hiccups that were caused by chemo?

    I have read about a few that have, I'm just wondering if it's a wide-spread side effect. Who has... Read More

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    • Question about Invasive, Squamous Ce...
    8 days ago
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    To all the Mother's on the site, Happy Mother's Day!

    Are you able to enjoy the day, or has cancer stolen this day from you too? I know there are time... Read More

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    • GregP_WN
    • Question about Invasive, Squamous Ce...
    10 days ago
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    With Mother's Day coming tomorrow, what would you say your best Mother's Day Memory is?

    We all need positive and happy things to concentrate on, so let's hear some happy memories!

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Head & Neck/Throat Cancer Guides