A Throat cancer is defined as a malignant growth which develops in the pharynx, larynx, epiglottis or tonsils. The main risk factors for the condition can be classified into modifiable and non-modifiable ones. Non-modifiable risk factors mainly include gender, age and race. It is a well-known fact that men are 5 times more susceptible to develop throat cancers compared to women, whereas the most cases identified are above 65 years of age.
Tobacco either as smoking or chewing, long term usage of excessive alcohol, human papilloma virus, poor nutrition and Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Affected patients will usually present with chronic cough, changes in voice (hoarseness), difficulty in swallowing, sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes associated with loss of weight and loss of appetite.
According to the latest updates, Throat cancers mark the eighth place among the commonest malignancies people have been affected by. Unfortunately, the incidence of throat cancer is increasing day by day, mainly due to the lack of knowledge in measures of prevention and poor prognosis.
Even though, there is no exact cure for throat cancer yet, research studies have proven that, people who are living a healthy life style are 2-3 times prevented from the disease due to the avoidance of major modifiable risk factors including Tobacco, Nicotine, red meat, processed food and unprotected sexual intercourse.
Therefore it is obvious that several simple changes in our life style can safeguard us from developing this fatal malignancy, which are mentioned below.
1. Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, preferably uncooked, at least five portions in a day is recommended, in order to get vitamins and minerals which are necessary to maintain a strong immunity system. Also, fresh vegetables and fruits contain a high amount of anti-oxidants which will help to neutralize, cancer causing free radicals in the body.
2. Dietary modifications- Selecting a variety of whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereals instead of refined grains, consumption of fish, poultry and legumes instead of processed, canned or red meat also play an important role in lowering the risk of malignancy.
3. Avoid smoking and Betel chewing – Tobacco and Betel are two compounds which are highly linked with throat cancers. Quitting active smoking as well as the exposure to second hand smoking and chewing betel will definitely help you to prevent from malignant growths developing in the throat. For patients who are addicted to these habits, there are several ways to overcome those including drugs, Nicotine replacement medications and counselling.
4. Stop or reduce the amount of alcohol consumption- This is really important to prevent from any cancer, since long term usage of alcohol can weaken the immune system, reducing its ability to fight with the changes occurring in the body. If a person is suffering from alcohol dependency, there are various organizations to support them, and provide them with healthy alternatives.
5. Avoid using Formaldehyde containing substances- Formaldehydes are a group of chemicals which are known to be carcinogenic. Many shampoos and cosmetics in the market nowadays, contain these types of chemicals, so people should be extra cautious in choosing day to day essentials which do not contain these types of cancer causing agents.
6. Ensure having safe sex- Throat cancers have a huge connection with oral sex and the number of sexual partners, a person is having. Therefore, it is highly advised to engage in safe sexual practices since prevention is always better than increasing the susceptibility for an incurable disease, which may result in a life time suffering.
7. Early identification of symptoms- It is always important to identify the notable changes in your body, which might be due to a cancerous growth. People should be made aware of the relevant symptoms and signs mentioned above, so that medical advice can be sought as early as possible before resulting in a complicated situation.