10 Signs of Hypopharyngeal Cancer

Hypopharyngeal cancer is a condition in which abnormal cells and tumors grow in the area where the pharynx and esophagus meet. The cells that usually develop in this are thin, flat, squamous cells. Thus, the specialists often refer to the condition as squamous cell cancer. Various cancerous conditions can start in the hypopharyngeal area. The names of some of the types of cancers that may start there are melanomas, sarcomas and salivary gland cancers. All of them can originate in the hypopharyngeal area and then expand to other areas and wreak havoc on the body.

Specialists use a vast assortment of processes and equipment to diagnose hypopharyngeal cancer. One thing that they may use is an MRI scan or a CT scan. They may also use X-rays and biopsies. A biopsy is an examination of a very small portion of tissue to determine if it carries malignant cells. The specialist will most likely use a needle to remove some of the tissue, and then he will view it under a microscope to see if it is cancerous or not. Alternatively, the attending physician may use blood test to help diagnose the condition.

The treatment for hypopharyngeal cancer that the specialist chooses will depend on the stage of the disease and patient’s health and wishes. The options include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The surgical approach seeks to remove the problem area to prevent it from spreading to other areas while the chemo and radiation therapies are geared toward killing cancerous cells. All of the options can have a positive effect if the doctor catches the disease in its early stages, and the person undergoes treatment fast enough.

It’s important for a person who is exhibiting the symptoms to seek help immediately. The following are the 10 most common symptoms of hypopharyngeal cancer:

1. An Enlarged Lymph Node

One of the first signs of the condition may be a case of swollen lymph nodes in the neck. The lymph nodes may be sore at the time, or they can swell and not cause any pain. It all depends on the person. The reason that the lymph nodes swell is that they sense a foreign object, and they are working as hard as they can to rid the body of such an object. Unfortunately, they will continue to swell as the cancer spreads, which is why it’s imperative to have the symptoms evaluated and start treatment as quickly as possible.

Some over-the-counter medications can help to combat the lymph node pain and swelling. Anti-inflammatories can help significantly if the lymph nodes are inflamed. Antibiotics may be in order if a bacterial infection is present. An affected person may even want to try to apply a heating pad to the neck. It may provide the individual with the comfort that he or she needs when the pain becomes forceful. Increasing the amount of water that one drinks can help the condition, as well. A person with these issues should consume at least the recommended eight 8-ounce cups of water every day.