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Throat Cancer Chemotherapy  

Throat cancer is a type of disease where cancer cells can form within the throat or voice box.  Cancer cells are abnormal cells which tend to grow very rapidly and uncontrollably.  Cancer cells do not function like normal cells so the growth of cancer within the throat can cause many problems.  The disease has the potential to cause death due to the manner in which it can impact the body.  There are some important ways in which doctors diagnose the disease as well as different treatment options.  The type of treatment is largely dependent on the type of throat cancer involved, its stage, and other factors related to the health of the patient.  One option which will be discussed here is throat cancer chemotherapy.  


Throat cancer chemotherapy is a type of treatment consisting of giving special medications to a throat cancer patient in order to attack and kill cancer cells in his body.  The medication is normally administered either orally or intravenously and travels through the bloodstream until it encounters to cancer cells. 


These medications normally attack cancer cells because they are designed to react with cells which exhibit faster than normal growth rates.  The medicines usually disrupt the growth mechanisms of the cells and cause them to die.  However a common complication and side effect of this type of treatment is that in addition to affecting cancer cells, it can also attack and kill other cells which show rapid growth rates.  This can include hair cells and the cells which line the stomach. 


So in many cases it is difficult to administer these drugs without having them affect other healthy tissue. The dosages and frequency of treatment is designed to provide for good results against the cancer while limiting the damage to healthy tissue and cells. But common side effects like the following can often occur: 

  • Hair loss 
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness 
  • Dry or sore mouth 
  • Fatigue 

These side effects usually go away once treatment has stopped. And there have been a number of improvements in the types of drugs used as well as advanced delivery systems which can allows these drugs to affect mainly cancer cells and limit the exposure to other healthy cells.



As a treatment option, throat cancer chemotherapy is not used extensively.  The most common procedures involve surgical removal of the cancerous tissue followed by radiation therapy to help to eliminate any remaining cancer cells in the area. 


However throat cancer chemotherapy may be used to help improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for certain kinds of throat cancer.  It can also be effective in helping to shrink cancerous tumors so that they can be removed successfully. 


This type of therapy may also be used for the type of throat cancer which can affect the voice box.  To help preserve the function of the voice box, throat cancer chemotherapy may be used in place of surgery or radiation to help preserve the voice function. 


And throat cancer chemotherapy may be a preferred option for cases where the cancer is no longer localized and has spread to other organs.  It may help to slow down the spread of the cancer and relieve some of the symptoms including pain, fatigue, weight loss, and others.