Throat Cancer In Children - Diagnosis And Treatment


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Does your child often complain about a sore throat or Strep throat? Does he face difficulties swallowing? It may be an innocuous infection, or it may be something as sinister as throat cancer. But, don’t panic yet! Read our post here and learn how to spot throat cancer, what causes it and how can you deal with it.

More About Throat Cancer In Children:

Throat cancer is prevalent among children. It typically occurs when harmful cancerous cells multiply and divide uncontrollably around the larynx. The malignant growth of the cancerous cells induces throat cancer. Throat cancer affects the vocal cords, the voice box, and the other parts of the inner throat including oropharynx and tonsils (1).

Types Of Throat Cancer In Children:

There are two basic categories of Throat cancer, which include:

  • Pharyngeal Cancer:

The cancerous cells develop in the pharynx and causes difficulty in swallowing or sudden nose bleeding.

  • Laryngeal Cancer:

The cancerous cells develop in the larynx (voice box) and induce talking difficulties or chronic sore throat (2).

[ Read: Most Common Types Of Cancer In Children ]

Causes Of Throat Cancer In Children:

The harmful cancerous cells develop with genetic mutations across the throat area. These mutations initiate rapid growth and spread of the cancer cells. The accumulated cells take the shape of a tumor, and children suffer from throat cancer (3).

Symptoms Of Throat Cancer In Children:

Some of the common throat cancer symptoms in children are:

  • Sore throat
  • Painful or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Persistent coughing
  • Severe Ear or jaw pain
  • Change in voice, such as Hoarseness
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling of the eyes, jaw or throat
  • Bleeding through mouth or the nose
  • A lump or mass in the neck (4)

[ Read: Epiglottitis In Children ]

Diagnosing Throat Cancer In Children:

The first stage of diagnosis would involve through checking the throat region. Some of the other advanced diagnostic tests that help track the size of the tumors include:

  • X-Ray:

The high-speed electromagnetic radiation images the tumor and helps in the treatment procedures.

  • Barium Swallow:

The barium swallow test helps detect abnormal growth around the different regions of the throat. It can be one of the earliest diagnostic methods to detect small, early tumors.

  • Panendoscopy:

It is an advanced method, where the doctor will diagnose your mouth, nose, and throat, including the trachea and esophagus, and examine the tumor vividly.

  • Laryngoscopy:

The doctor will closely examine the back of the throat or nasopharynx.

  • Biopsy:

Biopsy utilizes the sample of throat tissue or cells to check for the presence of a tumor.

  • Pharyngoscopy:

The doctor will thoroughly examine your child’s mouth, tongue and neck (5).

Treating Throat Cancer In Kids:

There are different kinds of treatment options, depending upon the severity of the developed cancer.

Some of the popular treatment procedures are:

  • Surgery:

If the developed tumor is small and in its earliest stage, the doctor may conduct a simple surgical procedure to remove the tumor. The surgery occurs under complete sedation.

  • Radiation Therapy:

After the surgical removal of the tumor, the doctor may recommend radiation therapy. The high energy radiation helps destroy leftover cancerous cells.

[ Read: Causes Of Thyroid Cancer In Children ]

  • Chemotherapy:

If the tumor was comparatively larger in size and has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body, the doctor may recommend the patient to undergo chemotherapy. Chemotherapy significantly destroys the malignant cancerous cells and prevents them from spreading to other body organs (6).

Early diagnosis of the tumor helps treat the condition quickly and more effectively.

Does your child suffer from throat cancer? What treatments is he undergoing? To tell us about your experiences or to ask a question, leave a comment below.

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