Throat cancer

Throat cancer occurs in the throat, running from your nasal cavity behind your nose, past the space behind your mouth towards your neck where the esophagus begins. Nearly all tumors in the throat develop in the outer cell membrane, the mucus membrane. These tumors are also known as squamous cell carcinomas. Throat cancer may present as a sore in the throat that won’t heal, pain radiating towards the ears, or difficulty swallowing leading to weight loss. You may also notice swollen lymph nodes in the neck or throat.

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Read more about the symptoms and the most common tests and treatments for throat cancer on this page.

Causes and symptoms

Throat cancer is a rare disease. That’s why only a select few hospitals are specialized enough to treat it – the Netherlands Cancer Institute is one of these institutes. Approximately 400 people are diagnosed with throat cancer on a yearly basis. This type of cancer is more common in men than in women and usually develops after the age of 50.

Some factors that may contribute to the development of throat cancer are smoking, heavy alcohol use, and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It is also good to know whether oral cancer runs in the family.

Diagnosis

The following tests may be done to confirm or rule out throat cancer:

Treatment options

Your exact treatment options will depend on the tumor type. Your overall health and shape will also affect your options. We will inform you about the process beforehand, and you will have plenty of time to ask questions. Your treatment will most likely consist of one or more of the following options: