Throat Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

How is Throat Cancer Diagnosed?

For throat cancer diagnosis, specialists recommend multiple diagnostic tests. These tests can help our specialists arrive at an accurate diagnosis and play a significant role in ensuring that patients with throat carcinoma receive the appropriate treatment.

Physical Examination

When patients present themselves with throat cancer symptoms, doctors initially recommend a physical examination and medical history assessment. During a physical examination, the doctor will carefully examine the patient's throat, neck, and mouth to look for any signs of abnormality or lumps that may indicate throat cancer. The doctor may also thoroughly assess the patient’s medical history to determine the cause of the symptoms.

Blood Tests

Doctors recommend blood tests to assess the patient's overall health, check for specific markers, and rule out other conditions.


A biopsy involves obtaining a throat tissue sample and examining it under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. A biopsy is helpful in arriving at a conclusive diagnosis of throat cancer by providing crucial details, such as the stage and grade of the tumor. There are different types of biopsies, including:

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests help visualize the throat and surrounding structures to determine the extent and location of the cancer. Imaging tests provide oncologists with crucial information like the stage of the disease, the exact location of the tumor, its shape and size, etc. Along with the diagnosis, imaging tests are also recommended for treatment planning, treatment response monitoring, and relapse evaluation.


Endoscopy involves inserting an elongated tube with a light and camera source to examine the entire throat structure. At times, endoscopy is also used to obtain a biopsy sample.

Staging of Throat Cancer

Once the throat cancer diagnosis is confirmed, the oncologists will begin staging. The staging of throat cancer is crucial for determining the extent of the disease and planning personalized treatment plans. The stages of throat cancer are categorized as follows:

Throat Cancer Treatment Options

There are multiple treatment approaches available for the management of throat carcinoma. Before recommending treatment for throat cancer, specialists consider various factors, such as the type of throat cancer, the disease stage, the tumor grade, the patient’s age, and the patient’s overall health status. In most cases, early-stage cancers can be treated with surgery alone. However, as the disease progresses, it will need a multimodal approach, which will involve radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.



Rehabilitation After Treatment

Cancer treatments often leave patients exhausted. This exhaustion can delay recovery and negatively impact the quality of life.

Opting for multidisciplinary rehabilitation can help patients regain their strength and return to their routine activities at a faster rate. Rehabilitation is an important part of recovery after cancer treatment.

Depending on the severity of the case, throat cancer patients may need the following rehabilitation services:

Speech and swallowing therapy

Physical therapy /facial exercises

Occupational therapy

Nutritional counseling

Psychological counseling

Supportive (Palliative) Care

Palliative care or supportive care focuses on improving the quality of life for cancer patients in the terminal stages. Radiation therapy, cytoreductive surgery, and pain management are some of the common strategies recommended under palliative care. These approaches help reduce the pain and discomfort caused due to the disease.

Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine, also known as complementary medicine or Eastern medicine, involves ancient healing practices. Cancer patients may opt for alternative medicine along with the treatments recommended by oncologists, as it may help them relax and show a better response to the treatment.

Post Treatment Recovery

Why Choose HCG for Throat Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment?

Throat cancer diagnosis and treatment need a comprehensive approach. At HCG, we have a dedicated department for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of throat cancer. Each case at HCG is looked at by our multidisciplinary team of experts. Specialists from different disciplines come together to study each case carefully, thoroughly understand the diagnosis, and come up with a personalized care plan for each patient. HCG is backed by leading-edge technologies, renowned specialists, and state-of-the-art facilities, and leaves no stone unturned to deliver the highest quality cancer care.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are multiple diagnostic tests available for the diagnosis of throat cancer. Physical examination, blood tests, biopsy, endoscopy, and imaging tests are the commonly recommended tests for throat cancer diagnosis.

Being mindful of the different symptoms of throat cancer can help in the early detection and diagnosis of throat cancer. The important early signs of throat cancer include a sore throat, coughing, change in voice, the presence of a lump or mass, wheezing, and pain.

If any of these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it is important to see a doctor.

Throat cancer patients have excellent survival rates. The 5-year survival rate for throat cancer is about 60%, i.e., about 60% of throat cancer patients live for 5 years after their throat tumor treatment.

Early-stage throat cancers have better survival rates than advanced-stage throat cancers. Patients must talk to their expert team to understand the prognosis of their condition.

This depends on the type of throat cancer, the stage at which it is diagnosed, the treatment response shown by the patient, and the patient’s overall health status.

The survival rates for throat cancer are excellent, provided it is caught in its early stages. That said, the survival rates will vary from one case to another, and patients must have a detailed discussion with their expert team to understand the prognosis of their condition.

While there is no cure for throat cancer that is in stage 2, early detection and treatment can improve the chances of survival.

After completing their throat tumor treatment, patients should adhere to the follow-up guidelines and keep up their follow-up appointments without fail. Follow-up plays an important role in determining the patient’s response to the treatment, managing the side effects caused by cancer treatment, and catching recurrences in the early stages.

The duration of the treatment for throat cancer depends on numerous factors, including the stage of cancer, its grade, its exact location, the treatment plan devised, the patient’s age, the treatment response shown by the patient, and their overall health status.

Some cases of throat cancer are treated with surgery alone, whereas others will need radiotherapy and chemotherapy, along with surgery. If the throat tumor treatment just involves surgery, it may take a few hours. However, if chemotherapy and radiotherapy are also involved, it may take several weeks or months for the treatment to complete.

No. There is currently no cure for throat cancer, but there are treatments that can help people live long and healthy lives. This is because there are multiple factors that control the prognosis of this disease.

The treatment outcomes for throat cancer depend on the stage at which the disease is diagnosed, the treatment response shown by the patient, and their overall health status. Early-stage or localized throat cancers can be treated successfully, whereas advanced-stage throat cancers are relatively more challenging to treat and have poor clinical outcomes.

Yes, throat cancer is treatable. Modern technologies and new-age treatment approaches available today have made it possible for us to treat throat cancers successfully and help patients live long and healthy lives.

However, for throat cancers to be treated successfully, they must be detected in their early stages. Early detection and timely treatment improve survival chances and positively impact the quality of life.

This depends on multiple factors like the type of throat cancer you are diagnosed with, its stage, your age, and your overall health status.

Early-stage throat cancers are often treated with surgery for better clinical outcomes. However, in the case of advanced stages or if the patient is not in a state to undergo surgery, throat cancer treatment without surgery may be recommended.

Your treatment plan will be made after thoroughly understanding your case and adhering to the same can help you with better treatment results.

This depends on the type of treatment recommended and the overall health status of patients. Common side effects seen among patients who have undergone surgery include blood loss, pain, infections, blood clots, etc. After radiation therapy, patients may experience a burning sensation at the treatment site, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, difficulty speaking and swallowing, mouth sores, etc.

After receiving chemotherapy for throat cancer, patients may experience loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, changes in taste or smell, mouth sores, infections, hair loss, etc.

It is important to note that these side effects are manageable and almost always go away after the treatment is completed. The benefits of these treatments always outweigh the risks, and the specialists will carefully plan and administer the treatment as per the individual needs of the patient.