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Tonsil Cancer Overview, Symptoms, and Treatment

The tonsil cancer affects the walls of the tonsils. This disease arises from the lymphatic cells found in the tonsils. This type of cancer is the lymphoma type.

The exact cause of any type of cancer is unknown so is the case of tonsil cancer.

But in majority of the cases the tonsil cancer is considered to be caused by two major risk factors smoking and alcohol consumption. If a person smokes and drinks alcohol then they are high chances of developing the disease.

Tonsil Cancer Symptoms

This tonsil cancer shows no early symptoms. In its later stage some symptoms which are very prominent and evident are as follows:

  • As a result of metastasis of tonsil cancer to the lymph nodes a lump in the neck is formed
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Sore throat or Hoarseness in the throat
  • Saliva contains blood
  • On one side the tonsil may get enlarged
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling of mass in the throat

Tonsil Cancer Treatment

If detected early the tonsil cancer can be well treated with the standard methods of tonsil cancer treatment like the surgery and the radiation therapy. In advanced stage the tonsil cancer treatment may require a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy as well.

Surgery

The major method of treatment which helps in treating the tonsil cancer to a large extent is the surgery. Most of the tonsil cancers are well treated by this method. This method of treatment depends on factors such as the size, type, location, and depth of the tumor spread.

For very small cancers which did not spread beyond the tonsil the surgery may alone treat the case. In some cases even the cancer can be removed through the mouth using the laser therapy or other endoscopic methods.

In cases where the tumor has spread beyond the tonsils, nearby lymph nodes then a biopsy is done to observe them under the microscope and examine in a laboratory.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays which may be x-rays, electron beams or even the radioactive isotopes. The purpose is to kill cancer cells and control their spread.

In cases where surgery may not be the best option and which may lead to disfigurement and loss of function such as speech and swallowing becomes difficult then in such cases a combination of radiation and chemotherapy may be used.

Chemotherapy

The method of tonsil cancer treatment which uses drugs or medications is called as chemotherapy. The drugs aim to control the growth and spread of the disease. They may be administered orally or through the veins.

Reconstructive Surgery

This method is opted after the standard treatments are implemented. This surgery helps the patient to restore physical appearance and usability of the mouth which might have been lost after the surgery and other methods of tonsil cancer treatment. The extent of reconstructive surgery or tonsil cancer patients totally depends on the size, location, and spread of the cancer.

 

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