Pharyngeal cancer therapy can include a number of different conventional treatment options. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are three common treatment methods that have been used effectively for years. When determining the most appropriate pharyngeal cancer treatment combination for the patient, DHRC team will weigh a number of influential factors, including the extent of your disease and your general state of health.
For advanced stage or recurrent pharyngeal cancer, we may combine surgery with other forms of treatment, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These treatments may be used to shrink the tumor before surgery. If cancer is found in the throat, nearby lymph nodes are also removed during surgery to test for the presence of cancer.
The following list contains only some of pharyngeal cancer treatment options available at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital.
Nasopharyngeal cancer the treatment option is Radiotherapy (IMRT) with chemotherapy with good tumour control and least complication rate. Surgery is only done when it is not cured by this treatment.
For Oropharyngeal Cancer – For early lesion transoral microscopic laser surgery or radiotherapy is the treatment offered. For intermediate stage cancer, Radiotherapy with chemotherapy is the treatment with surgery only, if not controlled by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Hypopharyngeal Cancer – For early lesions Transoral microscopic laser surgery or radiotherapy, for intermediate stage radiotherapy with chemotherapy and for disease coming out of voice box surgery i.e. total laryngectomy followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy is standard treatment option.
Laser Surgery: In laser surgery, an endoscope with a high-intensity laser on the tip is inserted down the throat. The tumor can then be vaporized or cut out using the laser.
Pharyngectomy: An operation in which part or all of the throat is removed.
Reconstructive Procedures: Following extensive surgery to remove laryngeal cancer, reconstructive operations can help restore both the structure and the function of the affected areas.
Myocutaneous Flaps: The throat is reconstructed using muscle and skin from a nearby area that is rotated toward the throat.
Free Flaps: Using “microvascular surgery,” in which small blood vessels are sewn together under a microscope, it may be possible to reconstruct the throat using tissues from other areas of the body, such as the intestines or arm muscle.
Lymph Node Removal: Cancer of the pharynx sometimes spreads to the lymph nodes in the neck. If such spreading seems likely, then removing the lymph nodes might be recommended. This operation is called a neck dissection, and is usually done at the same time as surgery to remove an already existing tumor. The exact amount of tissue that needs to be removed depends on the stage of cancer. With the most invasive procedure, some nerves and muscles that control neck and shoulder movement may be removed with the lymph nodes. However, many times surgery of this kind does not need to involve as much of the healthy tissue, preserving the normal function of the shoulders and neck.
Tracheotomy/Tracheostomy: A tracheotomy is done to create an alternate pathway for breathing by creating a hole, or stoma, in the trachea, or windpipe. There are different situations when a tracheotomy may be needed. After a total laryngectomy, the opening in the windpipe is connected with an opening in the front of the neck to provide a new route for breathing. This permanent procedure is known as a tracheostomy.
Gastrostomy Tube: A gastrostomy tube is a feeding tube that can be inserted directly into the stomach. This approach may be recommended if a cancer in the pharynx is preventing swallowing. A gastrostomy tube can ensure that an individual is getting adequate nutrition.
A feeding tube can also be placed in the stomach through the mouth. With this process, known as a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, or PEG, a camera is attached to the end of a long, thin tube, allowing your doctor to see directly into the stomach. Special liquid nutrients can be provided through the tube.
These tubes may be inserted on a short-term or long-term basis. They can help keep you healthy and fed during treatment, and can be left in after treatment if necessary. The tube can be easily removed as soon as normal eating is possible.