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how does throat cancer affect the respiratory system?

By Anonymous May 20, 2009 - 9:58am
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How does the cancerous cells in your thraot affect your respiratory system? Is it deadly?

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Dear Anon, thank you for the question. Here is what I know about throat cancer. This type of cancer is closely linked to smoking and will develop in the throat (pharynx) or voice box (larynx). Both areas are part of the respiratory system. So anyone with this type of cancer that goes untreated will have the respiratory system compromise. Even those who choose to undergo chemotherapy may require a temporary tracheostomy while the treatment last to ensure breathing function is protected.

People who have a history of smoking are more likely to develop this type of cancer and years of smoking even without cancer will eventually result of respiratory problems like emphysema, COPD or lung cancer.

It is hard to determine which cancers are deadly. It varies from person to person and the stage of the condition at time of diagnosis. Accodrding to the Mayo Clinic, for early-stage throat cancers, radiation therapy may be the only treatment necessary. For more advanced throat cancers, radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy or surgery. In very advanced throat cancers, radiation therapy may be used to reduce signs and symptoms and make the patient more comfortable.

You can find additional information on this type of cancer here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oral-and-throat-cancer/DS00349/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

May 20, 2009 - 11:35pm
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