Laryngeal cancer: factors of occurrence, symptoms, therapy
Cancer of the larynx (or throat) - a malignant neoplasm that develops as a result of the degeneration of the cells of the mucous membrane of the organ. About what symptoms this disease has, about its stages, causes of appearance and methods of dealing with the disease will be described in detail in the materials of this article.
Laryngeal cancer is the most common malignant tumor. This disease accounts for approximately 3% of all human cancers. Most often, laryngeal cancer (the photo is presented below) occurs in men of 50-60 years old, who constitute about 80-95% of all patients.
Likely causes of occurrence
Not all doctors can tell why a person has been diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. However, the vast majority of patients are malignant smokers. In addition, the risk of developing this disease is significantly increased due to the use of alcoholic beverages, professional activity in conditions of high temperature, dust,high content in the atmosphere of benzene, soot, tobacco smoke, phenolic resins, as well as other petroleum products. It should also be noted that often such a malignant tumor is preceded by long-term chronic laryngitis. Moreover, laryngeal cancer may occur due to the presence of precancerous diseases, namely:
- long existing papilloma;
- leukoplakia of the mucous larynx;
- laryngeal ventricular cysts;
- chronic inflammatory processes.
Varieties of the disease
Squamous cell laryngeal cancer is observed in patients in 98% of cases. Such a malignant formation is divided into three types, namely: subgangular, nodosvyazochny and cohesive. Most often, the tumor develops from the prefabricated throat (approximately 65% of cases). Moreover, this type of tumor is the most malignant. It metastasizes quite early and develops very quickly. The tumor on the vocal cords is observed in 32% of cases. It should be particularly noted that such a tumor is less malignant. As for the sub-larynx of the larynx, cancer cells develop there least rarely (about 3% of cases). Although this type of tumor is most often formed on the submucosal layer.As a consequence, such a disease is found later than all and has a poor prognosis.
The appearance of a neoplasm depends on the stage of throat cancer. As you know, such a tumor can develop exophytic (that is, in the form of loose or dense formations) in the lumen of the larynx. For the presented pathology characteristic papillary or lumpy surface, as well as pronounced boundaries. If the patient has an endophytic type of the disease, then the tumor does not grow into the lumen of the larynx, but into its depth. This education has no clear boundaries and is often accompanied by various ulcerations. It should also be noted that today there are often mixed types of throat cancer.
Stage of laryngeal cancer
Currently, the following stages of cancer of the throat are distinguished:
1. "Local" cancer, that is, the tumor is located on the mucous membrane, or rather, in one of the departments of the larynx.
2. A cancerous tumor is located within the submucous layer and mucous membrane, and also occupies one of the laryngeal departments completely. At the same time there are no metastases, and the mobility of the organ is preserved, since the tumor does not grow into the surrounding tissues.
3. There are 2 substages:
- The tumor begins to grow into neighboring tissues, but at the same time it does not extend beyond the limits of its section.
- Cancer begins to spread to several sections of the throat. In this case, the patient can be determined mobile and single metastases in the regional lymph nodes.
4. There are 2 substages:
- The tumor spreads to the largest part of the larynx, which, in turn, is soldered to adjacent tissues.
- Education grows and affects not only neighboring tissues, but also organs.
- A cancerous tumor with immobile metastases is determined in the regional lymph nodes.
- There is a tumor with distant metastases.
Laryngeal cancer: symptoms, signs of disease
Symptoms of a cancerous tumor of the throat depend on its location and growth. It should be noted that the early signs of this disease are not specific. In other words, they are not peculiar to this pathological condition. In connection with this fact, when the first or two symptoms described below appear, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor:
- Initial stage. As with many other malignant neoplasms, asymptomatic initial development is characteristic of throat cancer.However, some experts still refer to the earliest signs of the disease such a pathological phenomenon as hoarseness. As a rule, this deviation occurs against the background of a cancer of the upper parts of the larynx. Usually such a symptom does not cause any discomfort to the patient. A patient can ignore a changed voice for quite a long time, associating it with long-term smoking. It should be noted that the persistent cough is also very often attributed to this addiction. Although in most cases this symptom may be another symptom of throat cancer.
- Signs of cancer of the throat and larynx at a developing stage. If at the very beginning of this disease it was not detected and not subjected to proper treatment, then the tumor begins to gradually progress. In this case, the patient has the feeling that there is a foreign body in his throat. At first, such a feeling arises only during swallowing, and then it practically does not leave it. In this case, the patient may describe this condition as a "lump in the throat." Subsequently, the general symptoms of intoxication of the body with the products of the collapse of the tumor, namely, sleep disturbance, fatigue and a significant loss in weight, gradually join in with this sign.As the cancer grows, the patient’s condition worsens significantly. So, hoarseness goes into a complete loss of voice, that is, aphonia. At the same time, the neoplasm becomes visible outside (on the neck), as well as in the region of the vocal cords. Also, the patient has persistent pain in the ear and throat.
- Cancer of the larynx: symptoms, signs in the advanced stage. If such a serious disease has not been treated for a long time, then over time, the patient may experience shortness of breath and discharge purulent sputum mixed with blood.
Other signs of the disease
What other symptoms are characteristic of such diseases as laryngeal cancer? Photos you can see in this article. As mentioned above, an actively expanding tumor is always accompanied by pain. It is this symptom that causes the patient to significantly reduce food intake. This very often leads to the depletion of the patient. It should also be noted that subsequently the inflammatory process of the surrounding tissues begins to join the tumor. Their considerable destruction often leads to the ingress of water or food into the trachea. Moreover, the expanding tumor on the laryngeal wall causes its stenosis.
Diagnosis of the disease
To detect a malignant tumor in the throat, specialists use laryngoscopy - that is, they carry out endoscopic examination of the larynx. If during the course of such a diagnosis a suspicion arises that the patient has cancer, then doctors immediately perform magnetic resonance or computed tomography. These survey methods quite quickly allow you to determine the exact location of education, its size, as well as the absence or presence of metastases. To determine the cellular composition of the cancer, experts take a piece of pathological tissue. By the way, a biopsy is performed directly during laryngoscopy.
Is it possible and how to treat malignant laryngeal formation?
What kind of therapy is carried out in such a disease as laryngeal cancer? Treatment of this pathology should be carried out only by an experienced oncologist. As a rule, after the diagnosis and determination of the cellular composition of the cancer tumor, the specialists apply medical and radiation therapy to their patient. But what to do if a patient has advanced laryngeal cancer? Surgery to remove a tumor is the only way out.
The treatment of laryngeal cancer is chosen according to the stage of the disease. For example, at the very beginning of the development of a tumor (in the first or second stage), doctors most often use radiation. If the process has already spread, then specialists carry out a combination therapy in the form of a partial removal of a neoplasm with subsequent radiation therapy. In the third and fourth stage of the cancer of the throat, doctors use laryngectomy. This is a total resection of the larynx and its irradiation. Chemical therapy for this disease is used only as an additional method, which aims to combat metastasis. By the way, the same method is used for inoperable cancer to alleviate the condition of the patient.
Where are the treatments?
Cancer of the larynx grade 3 and above is successfully treated in Israel at the Top Ikhilov clinic. It should be noted that it is in this medical institution that one of the best oncology and lung cancer specialists, Professor Dan Fliess, works. Under his direct guidance, multidisciplinary assistance is provided to those patients who suffer from laryngeal cancer. Immediately after the patient arrives at the clinic, all necessary tests are taken from him, including a biopsy.After studying the material provided, the patient undergoes several instrumental and diagnostic studies. Among them, PET-CT, MRI and CT, as well as ultrasound and video stroboscopy of the larynx should be highlighted. After analyzing the information received, specialists make a decision on the volume and type of surgical or therapeutic therapy. In addition, a treatment plan is being drawn up. Its key point is not only to rid the patient of the cancer, but also to maintain a fairly high quality of life, without losing any swallowing or speech functions.
Prognosis of the disease
With timely treatment of throat cancer, the prognosis is largely favorable. Especially it concerns those cases when timely therapy was begun, at the early stages of the disease. The 5-year survival rate after treatment at the first stage of throat cancer is approximately 94%. If therapy was started late, that is, in the second stage, this figure is reduced to 87%. Significantly worsens the prognosis of tumor germination in neighboring organs and tissues, as well as the presence of metastases (especially distant ones).This phenomenon is a sign of generalization of the process.
- The main and main prevention of such a fatal disease is a complete and lifelong rejection of all bad habits, including smoking. Not so long ago, experts found that if a person leaves his passion for tobacco and does not take large amounts of alcohol, and also engages in daily restorative procedures, even an existing cancer in the larynx (“local”) can undergo a rebirth. Subject to the availability of appropriate therapy, of course.
- If such a pathological disease occurs in one or another person as a result of prolonged work in hazardous production, then he should observe safety precautions. This requires the use of special respirators, protective suits, etc. Moreover, such workers should be provided with annual free trips to health resorts, where all the necessary procedures for the prevention of throat cancer, etc. are carried out.
Let's sum up
Given the factthat the symptoms and signs of a malignant tumor of the larynx may not be pronounced, with their slightest manifestations, you should immediately contact an oncologist. Moreover, visiting a specialist once a year or half a year is also desirable for those who are at risk and also have a genetic predisposition to such a disease.