Effective Throat Cancer Treatment
Throat cancer treatment without chemo or radiation therapy is usually done when the tumor is small-sized and manageable with surgery alone. The aim of the treatment is to eliminate the tumor in its entirety and prevent it from recurring or spreading further. If surgery alone can fulfill this goal, the patient need not be subjected to chemotherapy or radiation, which may have side effects and may harm some healthy cells in the body.
Surgery alone may not suffice if the throat cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. The doctors will use a combination of chemo and radiotherapy in such case in order to protect the vocal cords. However, a part of the vocal cords may have to be removed surgically in order to eliminate the tumor. The treatment plan for throat cancer will take into account the general health of the patient, and the stage and type of throat cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation may be unavoidable if the tumor has reached an advanced stage.
Surgical Options to Treat Throat Cancer
Throat cancer treatment without chemo or radiation is possible for small and medium sized tumors that may be removed with advanced surgical techniques. One of the latest techniques used for throat cancer nowadays is the transoral laser microsurgery. In this case, the tumor is reached through a thin tube or a laryngoscope which is sent via the mouth.
However, if the tumor is large, it may require an incision in the throat to perform laryngectomy, which may result in removal of the voice box. This is a sensitive surgery which must be performed at a hospital with advanced facilities. If the team of pathologists can immediately evaluate the tissue samples removed in surgery and inform the results in real time to the operating surgeon, it can help the surgeon to decide how much tissue needs to be removed. This can lead to more precise surgery and preservation of the maximum healthy tissue.
Transoral Laser Microsurgery
This is an advanced, minimally invasive surgery which aims to achieve maximum impact with minimum collateral damage. This surgery is used when it is necessary to remove small and medium tumors through the mouth. However, in some cases the doctor may also decide to use this technique for larger tumors.
The advantage of this high precision, microscopic surgery is that it lets the surgeon remove the tumor without external incisions and without compromising the healthy tissue or the voice box. With this surgery it is possible to access tumors that are otherwise difficult to reach with conventional surgical applications.
Transoral Robotic Surgery for Throat Cancer
Throat cancer is also being treated at a few advanced facilities with transoral robotic surgery, which has the capability and expertise to use such robotic techniques. This technique also involves removal of the tumor through the mouth. It is also a very precise and minimally invasive procedure.
Transoral robotic surgery is preferred over conventional surgical techniques because it can help to preserve the basic anatomy and organ structure, and cause minimal damage to the healthy tissue. Furthermore, it requires minimal post-op healing time, so the patient needs a shorter stay at the hospital and can return to swallowing and speaking functions faster.