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Throat Problems

Throat problems run the gamut from minor annoyance to serious issue.

Sore throats are characterized by pain and scratchiness

The most common cause for a sore throat is a viral infection. That’s why sore throats frequently accompany colds and the flu. Many allergies also are accompanied by a sore throat. Although these sore throats cause discomfort, they usually resolve themselves.

On the other hand, strep throat, the most common form caused by a bacterial infection, should be treated with an antibiotic. Strep throat is diagnosed by taking a swab sample for either a Rapid Antigen Test or a throat culture. It’s important to treat strep throat and to finish the complete course of medication; complications can lead to such serious conditions as rheumatic fever.

A sore throat can also be a sign of throat cancer. You should consult a doctor when your sore throat persists longer than a week and you also experience one or more of the following symptoms:

Sore Throat

Sore throats are characterized by pain and scratchiness. The most common cause for a sore throat is a viral infection that accompanies a cold or the flu. Many allergies are also accompanied by a sore throat. Although these sore throats cause discomfort, they usually resolve themselves in a week to ten days. Over-the-counter medications can address the discomfort. Viral infections are not treatable with antibiotics.

Strep Throat

On the other hand, streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus, the most common form of strep throat caused by a bacterial infection, should be treated with an antibiotic.

Children are more prone to strep throat than adults.

Throat Cancers

A sore throat can also be a sign of throat cancer. You should consult a doctor when your sore throat persists longer than a week and you also experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A lump in your throat
  • Weight loss

Throat Cancer Diagnosis

Tumors can develop in your throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils. Diagnosis usually begins with getting a closer look at your throat, using a procedure called endoscopy. A similar procedure can be performed to examine your larynx.

If any abnormalities are found, a biopsy can be done during the endoscopy. A surgical instrument can collect a small tissue sample for testing in a laboratory.

Additional imaging diagnostic tests include X-ray, computerized tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These tests provide more detailed information about the extent of the cancer.

As with other cancers, your cancer will be evaluated in terms of the stage from early to advanced. The stage of your cancer determines your treatment.

Treatment of throat cancer

Depending on the type, location, and extent of the cancer, you will undergo one or a combination of treatments, including:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
    • Endoscopy can used be used in some early-stage cancers.
    • Laryngectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the voice box.
    • Paryngectomy is the surgical removal of part of the throat.
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy

Recovery and rehabilitation

Treatments for throat cancers create a number of complications. You can expect to work with specialists to help you with problems swallowing, eating, and speaking.

From the common sore throat to cancers of the throat, Baker ENT will diagnose and treat whatever health concern you face. Contact our office for an appointment.

Need to get in touch?

4175 N Euclid Ave, Ste 10
Bay City, Michigan 48706

(866) 909-0313

Hours: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM