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Throat cancer typically begins in the larynx. It can also involve surrounding organs such as the tonsils, nose, mouth, neck lymph nodes, and salivary glands. From this point of origin, cancer can spread to other parts of the body. Throat cancer may be classified as adenocarcinoma or sarcoma. Adenocarcinoma begins in the glands while sarcoma develops in the muscle fibers of the neck. The latter is less common than the former. The most common types of throat cancer are pharyngeal and laryngeal. The risk of developing throat cancer increases with age. Men are two to three times as likely as women to develop the condition. Lifestyle factors that increase the risk include eating diets low in fruits and vegetables, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking. People who already have conditions such as the Epstein-Barr virus, Human Paoillomavirus, and gastroesophageal reflux disease are also at a higher risk. Although not all these factors can be controlled, lifestyle changes can lower your risk of developing throat cancer.

Symptoms of throat cancer vary depending on where the growth develops and the type. Some symptoms of throat cancer include conditions that may at first seem unrelated, such as unexplained weight loss and swelling around the eyes, throat, jaw, and neck.

Common Symptoms

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Changes in the voice
  • Bleeding through the nose or in the mouth
  • Chronic cough

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.