What Are The Symptoms Of Throat Cancer?

By: Aakanksha Parulekar

Published On: October 12, 2018

How many people suffer from throat cancer? Why is it one of the worst cancers? We talk about the signs and symptoms. Read ahead to know more…

Overview on throat cancer


Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that may affect the larynx which is that area of the throat which is used for speaking, the nasopharynx, the area of behind the nose, or the oropharynx which is the middle part of the throat.

 In layman’s terms, it is that type of cancer that affects the voice box and the throat, leading to the lungs and the stomach. Throat cancer symptoms vary depending on the location of the cancer, but may include pain in the throat or ears, trouble breathing or swallowing, or changes in the voice.

Fast facts on throat cancer

  • Throat cancer is uncontrolled cell growth in the throat. The most common types of throat cancer are of the pharynx and larynx.

  • 60.7 percent of people with laryngeal cancer and 64.5 percent of people with pharyngeal cancer live for a little more than 5 years following diagnosis.

  • Treatment includes radiotherapy and chemotherapy but if the cancer has grown or spread to other parts of the body the treatment methods do not help.

  • Although there are many ways to manage the side effects of cancer treatment at home, one should always get professional help to ensure timely recovery.

  • Innumerable types of throat cancers begin as squamous cell carcinoma which occurs in the squamous cells that line the throat.facts-about-throat-cancer
    Let’s talk about the symptoms of throat cancer in men and women

1. Symptoms of laryngeal cancer

The larynx is located between the base of the tongue and the trachea, and helps with breathing, swallowing, and talking. There will be an estimated 13,430 new cases of laryngeal cancer in 2020. Symptoms may include:

  • A persistent sore throat or cough

  • A lump in the neck or throat

  • Changes in the voice

  • Ear pain

  • Trouble swallowing

2. Symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer

The nasopharynx is the upper part of the throat located behind the nose. The nostrils lead to the nasopharynx, and there are openings on each side of the nasopharynx that lead to the ears. Symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer may include:

  • A lump in the nose or neck

  • Nosebleeds

  • Pain or ringing in the ears

  • A sore throat

  • Trouble breathing or speaking

  • Headaches

3. Symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer


The oropharynx is the middle part of the throat that includes the soft palate, the side and back walls of the throat, the tonsils, and the base of the tongue. Risk factors for oropharyngeal cancer include heavy alcohol use, smoking or chewing tobacco, and being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). Symptoms may include:

  • A persistent cough or sore throat

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Ear pain

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Changes in the voice

  • Dull pain behind the breastbone

Other types of throat cancers that are not common

- Hypopharyngeal cancer (laryngopharyngeal cancer) begins in the hypopharynx (laryngopharynx),the lower part of your throat, just above your esophagus and windpipe.

- Glottic cancer begins in the vocal cords.

- Supraglottic cancer begins in the upper portion of the larynx and includes cancer that affects the epiglottis, which is a piece of cartilage that blocks food from going into your windpipe.

- Subglottic cancer begins in the lower portion of your voice box, below your vocal cords.

Causes of throat cancer and risk factors


There are certain factors that can increase the risk of throat cancer. To name a few:

  • Usage of tobacco including smoking and chewing tobacco.

  • Excessive alcohol abuse

  • Sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Diet that lacks fruits and vegetables

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Crowdfunding for cancer treatments

India has around 80,000+ throat cancer cases each year with expensive surgeries, treatments, chemotherapy, radiation and post-op care. The treatment for throat cancer may cost you anywhere in between Rs. 10 Lakh - 15 Lakh with added cost of medications and post-op care.

More than 80% of Indians are forced below the poverty line as they do not have insurance covers and are not eligible for loans. One can raise funds quickly and effectively through online crowdfunding as compared to loans and insurances. Read this blog to know more about how crowdfunding helps!

To raise funds successfully and on time, selecting an appropriate crowdfunding platform is vital. Impact Guru is the largest crowdfunding platform in India for medical fundraisers. You can raise funds successfully for all your medical treatments here.

We suggest you also read:

Cancer Symptoms And Causes: Getting The Basics Right

4 Types Of Rare Cancer And What You Need To Know About Them