Throat and laryngeal cancer are pretty common scenarios to the ENT surgeon.
Here are the symptoms that the throat or larynx cancer shows:
- Sore throat
- Lump in throat or neck
- Weight loss
- Ear pain
- Noisy and high-pitched breathing
- Trouble to swallow
- Globus sensation
- Lumps that don’t heal
- Trouble to breathe
- Blood in cough
You might easily confuse the symptoms of throat and larynx cancer. So, if you experience any of the symptoms above, visit your doctor for a more accurate diagnosis without delay.
Several facts cause cancer of the throat and larynx. They are:
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Not maintaining a healthy diet
- Smoking tobacco
- Cancer history in the family
- HPV ( human papillomavirus )
- EBV ( Epstein-Barr virus )
Whenever you notice any of the symptoms above, get an appointment with the doctor and make sure you describe your exact condition in detail. Your doctor will run some tests to diagnose your condition. The tests might include:
- Blood test to get a report on your overall health condition
- A regular examination of your neck, mouth, and throat
- Larynx endoscopy to get a closer look to determine any abnormalities in the throat
- Biopsy to check the tissues if you have any cancer
- Ultrasound to detect the presence of a tumor or organ
- Chest x-rays to see if cancer has spread and reached the lungs
- CT scan is used to get detailed and better cross-sectional images inside your body
- MRI helps the doctor get a clear image of the internal body parts
- PET scan along with a CT scan is done to see the cancer cells
Once the doctor has diagnosed your cancer, they’ll plan the treatment that goes best with your condition, like what size the cancer is, if it has spread, and how your health is currently.
The treatment for laryngeal cancer and throat cancer includes:
Surgery. Your neurosurgeon might decide to perform a surgery according to the location and size of the tumour. During the surgery, your doctor might end up eliminating the larynx ( partial or full ) or the pharynx, tongue, or thyroid.
Radiation therapy. Your doctor might recommend you get radiation therapy after the surgery, or the therapy could be the primary treatment.
Chemotherapy. Your neurosurgeon will recommend getting chemo before surgery to help the tumours decrease in size. In case your tumours have spread and reached the lymph nodes or have become larger, you’ll be recommended to get radiation therapy along with chemo.
Reflux is pretty known to most people. Acid regurgitation and stubborn heartburn are the main symptoms you experience if you have acid reflux.
Other than that, here are some more symptoms that you’ll see due to acid reflux:
- Blood in stools or vomit
- Weight loss
- Chronic sore throat
- Blackend stool
You’re most likely to see these symptoms when:
- You lie down after having large meals
- Drinking carbonated drinks, alcohol, coffee, or tea
- Having foods like chocolate, onions, citrus, mint, spicy foods, tomato, fatty foods, or garlic
- Taking certain medications like ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, aspirin, or blood pressure medicines
- Bedtime snacking
Have your doctor diagnose you if you see any acid reflux symptoms occurring twice or more weekly or if your medicines aren’t helping you get relief.
Heartburn is the key symptom to diagnose reflux. However, your doctor will order tests like the following ones to diagnose accurately:
- pH monitoring to check the presence of acid in your esophagus
- Esophagram ( Barium swallow ) to check if your esophagus has narrowed down or if you have ulcers
- Esophageal manometry is used to detect movement and function of the esophagus as well as the lower esophageal sphincter
- Endoscopy to check for any sort of problem in your stomach or esophagus
- A biopsy is done during endoscopy to determine any kind of abnormalities or infection
You can quickly get rid of acid reflux by modifying your diet and improving your lifestyle. The best way to do this is to avoid certain triggering foods and drinks. Maintain the following steps:
- Avoid eating too much food at once and eat in smaller portion
- Stop smoking
- Try to get the daytime naps in a chair
- Raise your bed 4 to 6 inches
- Avoid wearing tight clothes
- Lose the extra pounds
- Avoid medications that trigger your reflux
Consume plenty of water as it helps with digestion and reflux.
You can try some home remedies to get relief. Try a ginger cube, water mixed with soda, apple cider vinegar, licorice supplements, and even chewing gums to dilute the acid in your stomach.
Your doctor might initially prescribe you medicines to reduce the acid amount in your stomach. These can include rabeprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole, or esomeprazole. You’ll have to take them for about four to eight weeks according to your acid reflux condition.
However, if the medicines fail to bring you lasting relief, you’ll need a more effective treatment—laparoscopic fundoplication – an operation to reduce acid reflux in your stomach.
People snore when the airflow is blocked during sleep. If snoring stays longer than it should, it could pose several risks to health like stroke, decreased oxygen level in the blood, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes 2, and many more health issues.
People who snore tend to toss and turn many times in their sleep, and they sometimes don’t even realize that they’re snoring.
There’s no age restriction for snoring. Anybody can experience snoring at one point in their life. However, snoring is more common in obese people and the elderly ( over 50 ).
You might even find your children snoring. If you witness this, make sure to reach out to a doctor because this can affect their sleep. Lack of sleep can trigger behavioural problems in kids. This condition will interfere with the children’s daily lives, make them feel tired during the day, and find it difficult to focus in studies.
Snoring shows the following symptoms:
- Feeling drowsy in the daytime
- Choking or gasping for air at night
- Restless sleep
- Concentration problem
- High blood pressure
- Headache in the morning
- Sore throat
Keep in mind not to get the snoring confused with sleep apnoea.
Treating the snoring issue can involve lifestyle changes, modified diet, improving sleep patterns, and the last resort – snoring surgery.
Your doctor will examine you, take notes of your history, and craft a treatment plan to treat your condition.
As a primary approach, your doctor might recommend you to lose weight, cut down on alcohol before 2 / 3 hours of sleep, and sleep on the side. However, sometimes these are not enough, and you must get surgery done to get the best results.
Most of the surgeries for snoring are slightly invasive. The surgery is completed using small incisions, and you don’t even have to stay at the hospital overnight.
Snoring surgery is used to remove or reduce the extra tissue causing the blockage in airflow or correcting a structural issue.
Different type of snoring surgery includes:
- Pillar procedure
- Soft palate surgery
Combining the basic approaches mentioned above with suitable surgery, you can get rid of snoring problems for good.
Inflammation / infection of the tonsils is called tonsillitis. The condition can either be chronic or acute.
Children tend to have tonsillitis more than adults. In some cases, it is a one-time thing, but tonsillitis keeps recurring in a short space of time for some people.
Your tonsils are your frontline defence against any diseases – fighting off any virus / germs entering the body through the mouth or nose. They are like a filter that captures germs, stops them from entering your breathing passage and removes any possibilities for the germs to cause infection.
Tonsils also produce white blood cells, which helps the body fight against infection. However, when too many germs are attacking, tonsils often get overwhelmed, so the tonsils become inflamed / swollen.
There can be many causes behind tonsillitis. Infection caused by a virus ( common cold ) and bacterias ( strep throat ) is the possible causes.
Tonsillitis shows apparent symptoms, which makes the diagnosis of the condition simple. The symptoms include:
- Swollen / inflamed tonsils
- Trouble to breathe through the mouth
- Ear pain
- Tenderness or painful throat
- Losing appetite
- Bad breath
- Stiff neck
- Trouble swallowing
- Muffled voice
- Red tonsils
- Yellow / white coatings on tonsils
- Glands around the jaw or neck get swollen
On the other hand, little kids might find it hard to describe the symptoms or how they feel. The signs in the children suffering from tonsillitis include:
- Unusually fussy
- Painful swallowing that makes them drool
- Refusing to eat
To diagnose you, your doctor will run some tests like a throat swab, blood tests and check if scarlatina – a rash that shows up due to strep throat infection – is present.
While tonsillitis caused by a mild virus, like cold, doesn’t need any serious treatment, severe cases require antibiotics or tonsillectomy.
If the doctors prescribe you antibiotics, you’ll start to see improvement within the next 2 to 3 days, but you must finish the course.
For tonsillectomy, it’s an outpatient surgery. It might take a couple of hours to complete the operation.
Your body will recover within the next 7 to 10 days after surgery. Make sure you follow the doctor’s suggestions and restrictions. Drink a lot of water and rest as much as possible while recovering.
If you’re experiencing issues with your voice’s volume, pitch, tone, and anything else, you might have a voice disorder. The voice issue occurs because your vocal cords aren’t vibrating normally.
There’s a wide range of causes for voice disorders, like:
- Vocal polyps
- Reflux laryngitis
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Cysts, granulomas, and polyps
- Cancerous or noncancerous tumours
- Vocal cord palsy
- Vocal nodules
- Age-related changes
If you’re suffering from a voice disorder, you might want to check the following symptoms before making further decisions:
- Strained or choppy voice
- Quivering sound
- Feeling weak or breathy
- Feeling pain in the throat’s outside while touching
- Unbalanced pitch
- Feeling pain while speaking
- Tired voice box
- Sensing the presence of a lump while swallowing
If you have any symptoms, visit a doctor. Your doctor will examine you and suggest treatment. You might also have to get tested. The tests can include sound analysis, laryngeal electromyography, or others.
Your treatment for the voice disorder will depend on the cause. The doctor will conclude the most suitable treatment based on:
- Your age
- Medical history
- Current condition
- Severity of sickness
- How you respond to particular medicines or therapies
- And of course, your preference
The treatment might begin with lifestyle changes like keeping the voice low, avoiding yelling and talking as little as possible. If you’re a singer or smoker, you might have to quit.
Getting speech therapy can be beneficial to some voice issues. Exercising to help the muscles around the vocal cords relax will help. Drinking plenty of liquids.
Your doctors will prescribe you medicines like antacids if the voice problem can be treated with medication.
If you’re a woman suffering from thyroid or hormone problems, you’ll be recommended to get hormone therapy.
If the doctor finds that you’re facing muscle spasms in your throat, you’ll get a botulinum shot to treat the spasm. There’s a chance your doctor will inject fillers or ats into your vocal cords to keep them closed.
And finally, surgery. If nothing seems to work, your doctor will go for removing tissue growth surgery. However, if cancer is causing tissue growth, it’ll require a different approach like radiation therapy.