Cancer of the oropharynx, a part of your throat, is a type of head and neck cancer. Additionally, just beyond your mouth lies your oropharynx, which is the middle region of your throat (pharynx).
The back section of your tongue, tonsils, soft palate and the sides and walls of your throat make up your oropharynx. Your oropharynx produces saliva that keeps your mouth and throat wet (aid in the digestion of food).
Also, this cancer arises from the flat surface cells lining your mouth and neck, accounting for more than 90% of oropharyngeal malignancies.
Therefore, here’s a brief on oropharyngeal cancer.
What is oropharyngeal cancer?
In the neck area of your throat, the oropharynx, you can develop cancer called oropharyngeal cancer. Moreover, squamous cell carcinomas, which arise from the flat surface cells lining your mouth and neck, are affected by this cancer.
Under the age of 55, one in four people will develop oropharyngeal cancer. Also, an average patient diagnosed with this cancer is approximately 62 years old. On the other hand, in youngsters, this cancer is uncommon. Also, individuals below the age of 50 are more prone to develop and diagnose further HPV-related malignancies.
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and expansion of abnormal cells. Moreover, changes in our DNA lead to abnormal cells which proliferate. Also, cancerous cells can be caused by several know/unknown factors.
Tobacco and alcohol usage has been demonstrated to harm the cells lining your mouth and throat in the event of oropharyngeal cancer. Additionally, the virus that causes HPV infection produces proteins that disrupt the genes that usually control cell growth.
Further, cancer can result from uncontrolled cell growth. As a result, HPV infection is currently the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer, and it is on the upswing. Also, there is no known cause for some occurrences of oropharyngeal carcinoma.
Several factors, including cause oropharyngeal carcinoma
- Tobacco consumption
- Heavy consumption of alcoholic products
- Family or previous medical history of Head and neck cancers
- Radiation therapy for the head and neck for a long time (frequency)
- Individuals infected with the virus – human papillomavirus (HPV)
The symptoms listed below could indicate oropharyngeal cancer or other illnesses. Also, if you or anyone around you have any of the below-mentioned symptoms, you should unquestionably see a doctor without any further delays:
- Persistent sore throat
- Swallowing pain or difficulty
- You’re having trouble opening your mouth or moving your tongue
- Weight loss
- Changed voice
- An earache that won’t go away
- A lump in the back of your throat or the back of your mouth
- Lump in your throat
- Spitting blood
- There is a white area on your tongue or mouth lining that won’t disappear
Is it curable?
Yes, oral and oropharyngeal cancers are frequently curable, especially if discovered early. Although the primary goal of treatment is to cure the disease, it is equally critical to preserving the function of adjacent nerves, organs, and tissues.
1. Mouth reconstruction surgery:
Your surgeon may offer corrective surgery to restore your mouth so you can talk and eat normally. Moreover, your doctor may use skin, muscular tissue, or bone transplants from other regions of your body.
The tumor is removed through surgery – To verify that all cancer cells have been eliminated, your surgeon may cut away the tumor.
2. Radiation and chemotherapy
It may shrink the tumor before or after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence if the tumor is more prominent or at a later stage. Additionally, chemotherapy is a type of treatment that distributes medications throughout the body and helps to reduce cancer.
Furthermore, although frequently used in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiotherapy can be used alone. Also, chemoradiation is the term for this process.
It is a sort of cancer care that relies on your antibodies to fight the disease. Additionally, your body’s immune response may not attack your tumor because tumor cells produce substances that fool cells of the immune system.
4. Trans-oral robotic surgery
It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses your mouth to remove difficult-to-reach oropharyngeal malignancies.
Moreover, some advantages of this surgery are:
- Shorter hospital stays
- Faster recovery
- Minor injury to surrounding tissues and swallowing muscles
- Avoidance of a tracheostomy breathing tube
- A reduction in long-term speech and swallowing problems
If you’ve already had this cancer, you’re more likely to have it again in your head, neck, or mouth. Also, go to your doctor for frequent checks and follow-up appointments after you’ve finished your cancer treatment.
However, several factors, like your health practices, can increase your chances of contracting it.
Therefore, to avoid cancer, take the following steps:
- Don’t drink or smoke; consume a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Keep your sun exposure to a minimum. Repeated exposure raises the risk of this cancer.
- Make sure to take up a self-examination. (Once a month)
- Visit your dentist regularly.