Table of Contents
- How to Recognize Laryngeal Cancer Symptoms
- An In-depth Guide to Laryngeal Cancer: Its Forms, Effects, and Oncology
A Comprehensive Guide to the Diagnosis and Detection of Laryngeal Cancer
If you are elderly, a habitual smoker, or have a family history of laryngeal issues, you must be alert in detecting the visual symptoms of laryngeal cancer on your body.
From the key statistics for laryngeal cancers provided by the American Cancer Society, the rate of laryngeal cancer among Americans is ebbing by two to three percent annually. This may be associated with the lessening number of smokers. Hence, if you remain a smoker, you are still one of the most vulnerable sectors to laryngeal and other throat cancers.
Thus, it is a good and commendable practice to educate oneself regarding the factors that may lead to laryngeal cancers and how to prevent them. It is also advisable to do regular medical consultations to have a concrete overview of your health.
For this discussion, the different forms of laryngeal cancer diagnosis and treatments will be explained, in the hopes of having a more informed public and less vulnerable population.
Telltale Signs of Laryngeal Cancer
Laryngeal cancer is categorized as one of the two types of throat cancers, the other one being pharyngeal cancer. The former pertains to the exponential growth and mutation of malignant cells in the neck area, and more specifically, the inner linings of the larynx.
Some of the most common and earliest signs of laryngeal cancer are sore throat, colds that last longer than usual, pain in the neck and ear area, and trouble in swallowing. If you feel like you are exhibiting these symptoms, it is recommended to do a self-guided diagnostic test for laryngeal cancer, followed by a consultation with a professional.
If you are elderly and physical visitations to the hospital are too much for you, My All American Hospice is at your disposal. Get consulted and checked by a team of highly-skilled medical experts without the hassle of commute and long queues. We are just a click away from appointments and consultations, dedicated to you and/or your loved one.
Laryngeal Cancer Self-Diagnosis
Before proceeding, take note that self-administered medical examinations and diagnoses are not really reliable. Our inherent subjectivity and bias may obscure our readings and evaluations of our body and health. Furthermore, the lack of proper medical equipment will hinder one from getting an accurate laryngeal cancer diagnosis.
Consider self-diagnosis as simply a preliminary measure, and for you to be more self-aware in explaining the situation of your body to a professional. You may do these simple self-examination steps:
- Feel for neck lumps
Gently press two fingers on areas around your neck. Neck lumps are among the earliest visual signs of laryngeal cancer.
- Examine lips and cheeks
Use your fingers to open up your lower and upper lips and to check the insides of your cheeks.
- Check the gums
Bit the lips and cheeks gently without causing bleeding. Also, observe your gums.
- Look at the insides of your mouth
Open your mouth and began visually assessing your tongue, including its top and bottom portion and its sides. Using a flashlight, try to get a look into the rear part of your throat, the roof of your mouth, and underneath your tongue.
If you notice any weird difference, or if you feel any of the symptoms related to having laryngeal cancer, it is advisable to proceed with a consultation and diagnostic test administered by an expert.
Methods for Laryngeal Cancer Detection and Diagnosis
There is no single best way to detect laryngeal cancer. Sometimes it takes a combination of different types of metastatic laryngeal cancer diagnosis to assess the presence and rate of spread of the malignant cells.
Here are some of the main tests run at hospitals as part of the laryngeal cancer diagnosis process:
Unlike the self-administered exam you did to get a view of your rear throat, nasendoscopy is a method used to obtain a precise view and look of your larynx.
The procedure starts with a relatively small, flexible rod with an attached light and video camera at its tip, commonly known as an endoscope. The examiner inserts this equipment into the patient’s nostrils and passes behind the back of their throat. The images of your larynx are displayed and shown through a screen for further examination and evaluation.
Usually, the patient is awake while this procedure is ongoing. Do not feel too frightened though, as you will be injected or sprayed with local anesthesia before proceeding so that you will feel no pain, and just some tingling sensations.
Going beyond what is seen by the naked eye, a biopsy is a more advanced way of laryngeal cancer detection.
If you have already undergone nasendoscopy, the doctor might use the same instrument to get some sample cells from your larynx. These will be further examined for cancer symptoms.
It is always preferable to really look into your cells and not settle with a visual examination of your larynx.
In cases where you already developed a lump in your neck, a needle and syringe will be utilized to extract a sample tissue. Such a procedure is labeled as fine-needle aspiration.
The Stages of Laryngeal Cancer
After employing and gathering results from the initial tests of the diagnosis process, health professionals then use the TNM system to grade or stage laryngeal cancer.
T pertains to how big or how small the tumor is, N reports whether the cancer cells have already reached the lymph nodes, and M gives a general indication and report if the cancer cells have spread throughout the body. The following stages are used to diagnose the impact of laryngeal cancer:
- Stage 0 – This is also referred to as Carcinoma in Situ. Foreign or abnormal cells are spotted along the lining of the larynx. They have the potential to develop into cancer cells.
- Stage 1 – The mutated cancer cells have already taken form in any one of the main areas of the larynx (supraglottis, glottis, and subglottis).
- Stage 2 – Cancer cells have covered more than one area in the larynx and is continuously spreading.
- Stage 3 – laryngeal cancer diagnosis- cancer cells are now inflicting severe damages to the larynx, such as the dysfunction of the vocal cords. Cells have also spread towards the thyroid cartilage.
- Stage 4 – laryngeal cancer diagnosis- cancer cells have spread beyond tissues in and near the larynx, to the lymph nodes and rest of the body
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