Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cancer of the Throat Treatment

Treatment for throat cancer depends on the type and location of the cancer. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. Chemotherapy uses medications that either kill cancer cells directly, or interfere with their metabolism. Radiation therapy uses x-rays to directly kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy delivers a focused beam of radiation to the cancer so that any damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.

Specific treatment for throat cancer may include:

  • Chemotherapy for throat cancer
    • The administration of medicines that kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy for throat cancer:
    • Exposing cancer cells to radiation can kill them.
  • Laser surgery for throat cancer
  • Transoral robotic surgery
  • Hemilaryngectomy:
    • Partial removal of the larynx
  • Laryngectomy:
    • Complete removal of the larynx
  • Tracheostomy:
    • A tube is placed through a hole in the trachea, in order to allow air to enter the lungs without passing through the larynx.
    • This may be performed in someone whose upper airway is obstructed by a tumor.
  • Speech therapy

For more information:

Cancer of the Throat Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of throat cancer.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need speech therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk of throat cancer complications?
  • Are my children at risk for this condition?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Cancer of the Throat Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat throat cancer:

Continue to Cancer of the Throat Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer of the Throat References
  1. Blanchaert RH Jr. Oral and oral pharyngeal cancer: an update on incidence and epidemiology, identification, advances in treatment, and outcomes. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2002 Dec;23(12 Suppl):25-9. [12789999]
  2. Chainani-Wu N. Diet and oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2002;44(2):104-26. [12734057]
  3. Elter JR, Patton LL, Strauss RP. Incidence rates and trends for oral and pharyngeal cancer in North Carolina: 1990-1999. Oral Oncol. 2005 May;41(5):470-9. [15878751]
  4. Tavani A, Bertuzzi M, Talamini R, Gallus S, Parpinel M, Franceschi S, Levi F, La Vecchia C. Coffee and tea intake and risk of oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancer. Oral Oncol. 2003 Oct;39(7):695-700. [12907209]
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