Understanding the warning signs and risk factors for cancers such as that of the throat can mean the difference between life and death.
BURLEY, IDAHO, UNITED STATES, August 14, 2018 /
/ — According to
, an otolaryngologist from Burley, Idaho, throat cancer often comes with several common and easily identified signs and symptoms. Cancer of the throat also has five primary risk factors, the otolaryngologist points out. A surgical subspecialty within medicine, otolaryngology deals specifically with conditions of the ear, nose, and throat, as well as related structures of the head and neck.
“People often ask me, ‘when should I be worried about my throat problems being cancer?'”
. “This is the information which could save their lives.”
The ear, nose and throat specialist explains that the most common symptoms of throat cancer include a change in voice, trouble swallowing, weight loss, and progressively worsening wheezing. “Trouble swallowing, known as dysphagia, is one common symptom,” says Dr. Patterson, “as is a change in voice.”
The doctor is keen to point out that while these symptoms do not always indicate throat cancer, it’s important to be observant. “If these symptoms persist for three weeks or more, it’s imperative that a patient visits their doctor, and preferably an ear, nose and throat specialist, to make sure that they are not dealing with throat cancer.”
Other symptoms include rapid, unexplained weight loss, and a sore throat, often coupled with a constant desire or need to clear the throat itself. “A persistent cough, especially where a patient may cough up blood, is another symptom which is especially important to get checked out,” Dr. Patterson adds.
Along with progressively worsening wheezing, swollen lymph nodes in the neck are another indicator which should be checked by a doctor or ear, nose and throat specialist.
It’s predicted that in 2018, over 13,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with throat cancer. “The disease is 4-5 times more common in men than in women, which is the single biggest risk factor for this disease,” Dr. Patterson reveals. “This year, it’s estimated that around 3,700 adults in the U.S. will die from throat cancer – equivalent to somewhere in the region of 2,975 men and 725 women,” he adds.
Of the four other primary risk factors for throat cancer, Dr. Patterson explains that these are tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, being aged over 50, and a family history of the disease. “A family history, in particular, is a big risk factor,” suggests the specialist. “Again, while tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption do not always automatically point toward a diagnosis of throat cancer, they are highly significant risk factors for the disease.”
, wrapping up, “those aged 50 and above are at an increased risk of developing throat cancer, so it’s important to be vigilant as we all get older.”
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