Cancer symptoms: The voice box tumour affecting thousands of Britons each year – signs

Dr Sara Kayat discusses ants that can smell cancer

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Affecting thousands of Britons each year, yet preventable in up to 88 percent of cases (according to Cancer Research UK), what are the warning signs of voice box cancer? The main symptom to note, as pointed out by the NHS, is a hoarse voice that lingers for three weeks or longer. Other clues include pain when swallowing, or difficulty swallowing, and a lump or swelling in the neck.

Laryngeal cancer may also lead to a long-lasting cough or breathlessness, a persistent sore throat, or earache.

Some people might experience bad breath, unintentional weight loss, or fatigue.

If you identify with any of these symptoms, the NHS encourages you to “get them checked out”.

“The outlook for laryngeal cancer depends on the extent of the cancer when it’s diagnosed and treated,” the NHS stated.

If you smoke, stopping smoking after a cancer diagnosis could improve your outlook.

How voice box (laryngeal cancer) develops

DNA mutation leads to cells in the larynx (voice box) to grow continuously, instead of stopping when they should.

As cells amass uncontrollably, a growth of tissue develops, known as a tumour.

“It appears that exposure to things that can damage the cells and tissue of the larynx increases the risk of cancer developing,” the NHS stated.

Risk factors for developing cancer

“Alcohol and tobacco are the two main things that can increase your risk of developing laryngeal cancer,” the NHS certified.

The more a person drinks and smokes, the higher the risk of developing laryngeal cancer.

There’s also evidence that a diet high in red meat, processed food, and fried foods could increase a person’s risk.

To combat these risk factors, the best combination is to be teetotal, a non-smoker, and to adhere to a Mediterranean diet.

People aiming to quit smoking can call the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0300 123 1044 or can attend a stop smoking service.

For people who are struggling to cut down on alcohol, it’s advisable to speak to your GP.

As for eating a healthier diet, research shows that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of cancer.

Most specifically, the consumption of tomatoes, citrus fruits – such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemons – and olive oil can reduce your risk of laryngeal cancer.

Should laryngeal cancer be diagnosed, treatment will largely depend on the size of the tumour.

The main treatments for cancer include radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted cancer medicines.

Treatments can lead to side effects; for instance, radiotherapy can lead to a loss of appetite and nausea.

Recovery will be unique to each individual, with some people, unfortunately, not surviving the cancer if found in the later stages.

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