Expert care for throat, voice, and sleep disorders.
For patients with cancer of the throat, if the cancer is affecting the voice box, it will often cause changes in the voice. Symptoms include throat pain, cough, hoarseness, swallowing difficulty, a lump in the neck, shortness of breath or coughing up blood. It may also result in difficulty swallowing or breathing. The patient may also notice a lump on the side of the neck, unintentional weight loss, or ear pain. The cancer can be visualized by performing a laryngoscopy, but the diagnosis is not made until a biopsy determines that there is cancer. Treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
A chronic cough is described as a cough that lasts for 8 weeks or longer. A lingering cough can disrupt your sleep and affect your concentration. If you have a persistent cough that isn’t going away, make an appointment today.
Chronic coughing can be triggered by a variety of factors, including:
Skin cancer can develop on any part of the body that receives frequent sun or UV exposure. One of the most prone areas of skin cancer is the face though. There are three different types of facial skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma affects the face, ears, and scalp, and are characterized by a pearly, waxy bump; a flat, flesh-colored lesion; or a brown scar-like lesion.
- Squamous cell carcinomas are most typically found on the face, lips, and ears. Signs include a firm, reddish nodule and a flat lesion with a scaly or crusted surface.
- Melanomas can occur anywhere but are commonly found on the head or neck. Symptoms of facial melanoma include a mole that changes size or color, or bleeds; a brownish spot with dark speckles; a lesion with an irregular border and parts that appear red, blue, blue-black, or white; and dark lesions on the mucous membranes lining the nose and mouth.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, size, and location of the cancer as well as the patient’s overall health.
Small lesions on the surface of the skin can often be removed with a simple skin biopsy. Other types of skin cancers detected early can be removed by freezing with liquid nitrogen or vaporizing with laser therapy. Excisional surgery, or Mohs surgery, is used for larger grows.
Vocal problems occur with a change in the voice, often described as hoarseness or dysphonia. Hoarseness is usually caused by changes to the voice box, or larynx, and it is deemed chronic when it lasts longer than 4 to 6 weeks. The larynx has three primary functions. Besides its role in speaking, it also controls swallowing and breathing. For this reason, when there is a problem in the voice box causing hoarseness, the patient may also experience changes in their swallowing (dysphagia) and breathing (dyspnea) along with chronic throat clearing or coughing.
Treatment for hoarseness depends primarily on the cause. Increasing hydration and limiting extended voice use allows the voice box to recover from the trauma of overuse or misuse. Controlling any acid reflux and allergies helps to reduce these aggravating factors which can make the voice worse.