Was smoking ever considered a throat cure?

Was smoking ever considered a throat cure?

In the movie The King's Speech Prince Bertie at some point says his doctors had advised him to smoke, in order to improve his throat's condition.

Does this stupid suggestion represent actual medical consensus of the 1920's or were the screenwriters just being creative?

Asthma cigarettes were an actual treatment at the time - I don't know if the scriptwriters, or history, knew whether the prescription was for tobacco or stramonium cigarettes. It's unlikely anyone believed tobacco had any medical purpose at that time, though its dangers were still largely unknown.

Stramonium, on the other hand, was a well known cure for asthma or other issues with swelling or inflamation of the throat or airways. Also known as thorn-apple cigarettes, they were packed with the dried leaves, flower and fruiting body of the Datura Stramonium plant (aka the thorn-apple). The smoke of the plant contained beladonna alkaloids which acted as an anticholinergic - the physicians may have hoped whatever was causing his stutter would react in the same way to the asthma cigarette as a bronchial tube spasm would.

In the United States, we have specialists who treat lung conditions called respiratory therapists. My mother was one in the 1990's and she said it was very difficult to convince many elderly patients with asthma to quit smoking since they had been told by their doctors in their youth it improved their asthma. She dealt with hundreds of patients with lung conditions, most who would have been young in the 1920's-1940's. I think this is pretty good proof that this odd medical advice was indeed given.

Smoking causes the airways to constrict, so it can reduce some symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, even though the person is less able to breathe, so it is bad for them and can cause a lethal asthma attack. Quitting smoking also temporarily causes coughing fits as the airways open up, so you can see why these people were skeptical. I imagine this is how such wrong-headed medical advice became orthodox.

People thought it was so good for the lungs, you can see the cyclists in the Tour de France smoking along the way in now iconic photos from the era.

Example from that search:

As many smokers might know, this herb will sooth the need to cough. A need that it itself contributes to. Short time effects in a habituated individual are the opposite of its long term effects. Believing in a effect you can experience yourself is not difficult.

When this herb was "discovered" by the Europeans they quickly inquired into all of its properties. Being a sacred plant to the Americans ("Indians") used in many healing rituals, this knowledge traveled back, and was adopted.

Tobacco was a true wonder drug, capable od soothing everything, curing everything. Although the Americans thought of its mode of action in much more spiritual ways, the Europaens were much more mechanistic in their understanding.

Nicolás Mondardes (1519-1588), a well-known author and doctor living in Seville, was the first European physician to unabashedly pro- mote tobacco as a medicine. In 1571, in the second part of his widely read compendium of New World plants, Mondardes highlighted tobacco's healing properties.

Monardes had published a detailed study of all the plants brought back from the Americas to that date titled Joyfull Newes Out of the Newe Founde Worlde in which he prescribed tobacco for almost every common ailment of the time, including toothache, carbuncles, flesh wounds, chilblains, “evill” breath, headaches, and even “cancers” (Monardes 1925), and so provided all the medical justification needed to suggest that the search for the miracle cure-all was over. Thus, in the early stages of the modern era, tobacco was widely understood to be a “divine sent” medicinal remedy (Pego et al. 1995).

Over time, tobacco's reputation as a miraculous drug diminished, and by the eighteenth century tobacco use in Europe came to be recognized as primarily recreational. Nonetheless, nicotian therapy continued in Europe well into the nineteenth century. In 1800 European physicians were still using tobacco as an antispasmodic for asthma, an enema for intestinal obstructions, and as a diuretic for dropsy and similar disorders. Some even continued to advocate its use as a prophylactic against infectious diseases such as cholera well into the 1890s.

Smoking anything was an official cure for Asthma and other conditions of the throat and lung. While the main ingredient was tobacco, several other herbs were added to increase the effect. Among them belladonna, datura, and our new wonder drug: cannabis. Examples are numerous. These were sold in pharmacies until the 1970s for West-Germany and a little longer in the East. But since the question seems to be about pure and ordinary tobacco cigarettes…

This 1869 advertisement for Dr. Perrin's “Fumigator” is promoting the smoking of tobacco as a remedy for catarrh, sore throat, loss of voice, and discharges from the head.

For the most part, by the nineteenth century tobacco appears to have become primarily a folk remedy used in the home rather than one commonly prescribed by classically trained and highly skilled physicians.Goodman05

While most of the established medical science community started to see some potential dangers, like from high doses of isolated nicotine, or just to much soot buildup, on the whole they just started to slowly doubt the benefiical effects from inhalation of the pyrolisation products of this material.

That doesn't mean that folk remedy took completely over and forced scientific medical wisdom onto a back bench. Tobacco found a new ally to promote its virtue (and total harmlessness): advertisers.

In 1927 Philip Morris, one of the smaller cigarette manufacturers of the time, advertised one of its brands, Marlboro, [… ]. Lucky Strike entered the fray on two fronts: it solicited and printed testimonials from European artistes who informed the reader that they had discovered their favourite cigarette in Lucky Strike, a cigarette that was mild and mellow and because of a special process that treated the tobacco-'It's Toasted'- Luckies protected your throat.Goodman93

And the same trend continued well into the 50s, when scientific medicine finally started to convince the public - and its own members - of the detrimental effects and dangers of smoking.

After the cancer link was published in Reader's Digest…

The industry initially responded with denial and buck-passing. “You hear stuff all the time about 'cigarettes are harmful to you' this that and the other thing,” Arthur Godfrey reassured his television viewers in September 1952. Not to worry. Chesterfields wouldn't harm your nose, throat, or “accessory organs.” A responsible consulting organization and a competent medical specialist had vouched for it.Courtwright

Which specialist may have vouched for it? Well, some did.

(Pictures lifted from: “The Doctors' Choice Is America's Choice”. The Physician in US Cigarette Advertisements, 1930-1953 (2005))

Not every doctor is always at the forefront of knowledge in scientific medicine or not even just up-to-date, today. Some were bought, some are. In the film's setting of the 1920s, this looks entirely plausible. Old knowledge not yet completely gone, new dangers not widely known or accepted as proven, the continued use as a folk remedy and the onslaught of advertisers play nicely together. It might have been an allusion to a real doctor recommending it, a play on the then common advertisments or a signal that a royal was vulnerable to bad advice, whether from quacky physicians or advertising. Additionally it might be completely plausible that Bertie just lied: "It's medicinal."

Not answeering the more global issues from the question, but what led the king into his habit and addiction: When Cigaretts were Acceptable a physicians perspective in: Under the Knife: A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations and from a biography George VI


David T. Courtwright: "Forces of Habit, Drugs and the Making of the Modern World", Harvard University Press: Cambridge, London, 2001.

Jordan Goodman: "Tobacco in History. The cultures of dependence", Routledge: London, New York, 1993.

Jordan Goodman: "Tobacco in History and Culture. An Encyclopedia, Vol. 2 Native Americans-Zimbabwe", Thomson Gale, Farmington Hills, 2005.

It's anecdotal and a sample size of just one, but a good friend in high-school suffered from cystic fibrosis. He smoked from a stated firm belief that the smoke relieved the mucous build up. As he wasn't expected to live much past 30 anyways, lung cancer was the least of his concerns. As it was he lived to the ripe old age (for a CF sufferer) of 42.


The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year around the world. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

All forms of tobacco are harmful, and there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco. Cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use worldwide. Other tobacco products include waterpipe tobacco, various smokeless tobacco products, cigars, cigarillos, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis and kreteks.

Waterpipe tobacco use is damaging to health in similar ways to cigarette tobacco use. However, the health dangers of waterpipe tobacco use are often little understood by users.

Smokeless tobacco use is highly addictive and damaging to health. Smokeless tobacco contains many cancer-causing toxins and its use increases the risk of cancers of the head, neck, throat, oesophagus and oral cavity (including cancer of the mouth, tongue, lip and gums) as well as various dental diseases.

Over 80% of the 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. Tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending from basic needs such as food and shelter to tobacco.

The economic costs of tobacco use are substantial and include significant health care costs for treating the diseases caused by tobacco use as well as the lost human capital that results from tobacco-attributable morbidity and mortality.

In some countries children from poor households are employed in tobacco farming to boost family income. Tobacco growing farmers are also exposed to a number of health risks, including the "green tobacco sickness".

Effective monitoring tracks the extent and character of the tobacco epidemic and indicates how best to implement policies. Only 1 in 3 countries, representing 38% of the world's population, monitors tobacco use by repeating nationally representative youth and adult surveys at least once every 5 years.

History of Tobacco

Tobacco and tobacco-related products have a long history that stretches back to 6,000 BC. The plant today known as tobacco, or Nicotiana tabacum, is a member of the nicotiana genus – a close relative to the poisonous nightshade and could previously only be found in the Americas.

In 1492, Columbus was warmly greeted by the Native American tribes he encountered when he first set foot on the new continent. They brought gifts of fruit, food, spears, and more and among those gifts were dried up leaves of the tobacco plant. As they were not edible and had a distinct smell to them, those leaves, which the Native Americans have been smoking for over 2 millennia for medicinal and religious purposes, were thrown overboard.

However, Columbus soon realized that dried tobacco leaves are a prized possession among the natives, as they bartered with them and often bestowed them as a gift.

Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres are the first Europeans to observe smoking. It was on Cuba and Jerez becomes a staunch smoker, bringing the habit back with him to Spain.

History of Tobacco in Europe

Jerez’s neighbors were so petrified of the smoke coming out of his mouth and nose that he was soon arrested by the Holy Inquisition and held in captivity for nearly 7 years. However, thanks to a lot of seafarers at the time, smoking became an entrenched habit in both Spain and Portugal before long.

In the 15 th century, Portuguese sailors were planting tobacco around nearly all of their trading outposts, enough for personal use and gifts. By mid-century they started growing tobacco commercially in Brazil – it was soon a sought-after commodity and traded across the ports in Europe and the Americas.

By the end of the 16 th century, tobacco plant and use of tobacco were both introduced to virtually every single country in Europe. Tobacco was snuffed or smoked, depending on the preference and doctors claimed that it had medicinal properties. Some, such as Nicolas Monardes in 1571, went as far as to write a book to outline 36 specific ailments that tobacco could supposedly cure.

History of Tobacco in America

Tobacco products gained a strong foothold in the US somewhere around the Revolutionary War. War and tobacco go hand in hand as you will soon see and in 1776 it was used by the revolutionaries as collateral for the loans they were getting from France.

1847 was the year when Philip Morris was established in the UK. They were the first to start selling hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes but the practice was soon picked up by J.E. Liggett and Brother, an American company established in St. Louis in 1849. Even though chewing tobacco was the most popular form of tobacco in the 19 th century (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was founded in 1875 and produced chewing tobacco, exclusively) cigarettes were slowly taking sway.

Cigarettes truly came into popularity after the invention of the cigarette-making machine by James Bonsack in 1881. He went into business James ‘Buck’ Duke and the American Tobacco Company was born. The ATC survives today as a part of British American Tobacco, a global company with reported revenues of 13, 104 billion in 2015.

Proliferation of Cigarettes

Cigarettes came to the height of their popularity during the First and the Second World War. Tobacco companies sent millions of packs of cigarettes to soldiers on the front lines, creating hundreds of thousands of faithful and addicted consumers in the process. Cigarettes were even included into soldiers’ C-rations – which contained mostly food and supplements, along with cigarettes.

The 1920s were also the period when tobacco companies started marketing heavily to women, creating brands such as ‘Mild as May’ to try to feminize the habit and make it more appealing to women. The number of female smokers in the United States tripled by 1935.

Smoking Hazards

Dangers associated with nicotine are nothing new. Ever since people started smoking, there were those far-sighted enough to suggest that the habit is dangerous and addictive. In the early 17 th century a Chinese philosopher Fang Yizhi pointed out the dangers of smoking, noting that it caused ‘scorched lungs’. Sir Francis Bacon noticed that there was something very addictive about tobacco way back in 1610, saying that it’s a tough habit to kick – people back then did not know about the addictive nature of nicotine or that nicotine was even a component of tobacco.

In Great Britain, snuff users were warned about dangers of nose cancer as early as 1761 while German doctors started warning pipe smokers about the possibility of developing lip cancer in 1795. In the 1930s, American doctors started linking tobacco use to lung cancer and General Surgeon’s report from 1964 definitely states that smoking causes lung cancer in men.

Tobacco Today

Tobacco and tobacco products are more regulated today. Companies have lost countless lawsuits and are now forced to clearly label their products as having a detrimental effect on the health of a person. Also, tobacco advertising is severely limited and regulated.

Still, tobacco companies make billions of dollars in revenue every year, destroying the health of others. It’s estimated that there are around 1 billion tobacco users in the world today. The damage caused by this addiction and its peddlers numbers in trillions of dollars of health expenses and environmental damages and more effort has to be made to educate people, especially teenagers and young adults, about the dangers of smoking.

Cancer of the Mouth and Throat (Oral Cancer)

The oral cavity (mouth) and the upper part of the throat (pharynx) have roles in many important functions, including breathing, talking, chewing, and swallowing. The mouth and upper throat are sometimes referred to as the oropharynx or oral cavity. The important structures of the mouth and upper throat include lips, inside lining of the cheeks (mucosa), teeth, gums (gingiva), tongue, floor of the mouth, back of the throat, including the tonsils (oropharynx), roof of the mouth (the bony front part [hard palate] and the softer rear part [soft palate]), the area behind the wisdom teeth, and the salivary glands.

Many different cell types make up these different structures. Cancer occurs when normal cells undergo a transformation whereby they grow and multiply without normal controls. Malignant tumors (cancers) of the oral cavity can encroach on and invade neighboring tissues. They can also spread to remote sites in the body through the bloodstream or to lymph nodes via the lymph vessels. The process of invading and spreading to other organs is called metastasis.

Tumors in the mouth (oral cancer) and throat (oropharyngeal cancer) include both benign (not cancer) and malignant types. Benign tumors, although they may grow and penetrate below the surface layer of tissue, do not spread by metastasis to other parts of the body. Benign tumors of the oropharynx are not discussed in this article.

Each year, almost 50,000 people in the U.S. will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. Around 9,700 people will die of these cancers.

Premalignant conditions are cell changes that are not cancer but which may become cancer if not treated.

  • Dysplasia is another name for these precancerous cell changes It means abnormal growth.
  • Dysplasia can be detected only by taking a biopsy of the lesion.
  • Examining the dysplastic cells under a microscope indicates how severe the changes are and how likely the lesion is to become cancerous.
  • The dysplastic changes are usually described as mild, moderately severe, or severe.

The two most common kinds of premalignant lesions in the oropharynx are leukoplakia and erythroplakia.

  • Leukoplakia is a white or whitish area on the tongue or inside of the mouth. It can often be easily scraped off without bleeding and develops in response to chronic (long-term) irritation. Only about 5% of leukoplakias are cancerous at diagnosis or will become cancerous within 10 years if not treated.
  • Erythroplakia is a raised, red area. If scraped, it may bleed. Erythroplakia is generally more severe than leukoplakia and has a higher chance of becoming cancerous over time.
  • Mixed white and red areas (erythroleukoplakia) can also occur and represent premalignant lesions of the oral cavity.
  • These are often detected by a dentist at a routine dental examination.

Several types of malignant cancers occur in the mouth and throat.

    is by far the most common type, accounting for more than 90% of all cancers. These cancers start in the squamous cells, which form the surface of much of the lining of the mouth and pharynx. They can invade deeper layers below the squamous layer.
  • Other less common cancers of the mouth and throat include tumors of the minor salivary glands called adenocarcinomas and lymphoma.
  • Cancers of the mouth and throat do not always metastasize, but those that do usually spread first to the lymph nodes of the neck. From there, they may spread to more distant parts of the body.
  • Cancers of the mouth and throat occur in twice as many men as women.
  • These cancers can develop at any age but occur most frequently in people aged 45 years and older.
  • Incidence rates of mouth and throat cancers vary widely from country to country. These variations are due to differences in risk factor exposures.

What Are Mouth and Throat Cancer Symptoms and Signs?

People may not notice the very early symptoms or signs of oral cancer. People with an oropharyngeal cancer may notice any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • A painless lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat
  • A sore or ulceration on the lip or inside the mouth that does not heal
  • Painless white patches or red patches on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth
  • Unexplained pain, bleeding, or numbness inside the mouth
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Pain or difficulty with chewing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the jaw or other change in the voice

These symptoms are not necessarily signs of cancer. Mouth sores and other symptoms may be caused by many other less serious conditions.


What Are Causes of Mouth and Throat Cancer?

Today the understanding of oral health and the cause of cancers (especially those of the oropharynx) has changed dramatically. Historically most cancer of the head and neck was attributed to tobacco and alcohol use. Today we know that this explanation is both incomplete and often inaccurate.

Anywhere from 50%-90% of oropharynx squamous cell carcinomas are known to be caused by HPV (human papillomavirus) infection. Testing the cancers shows evidence of HPV infection. Such cancers are said to be HPV positive or HPV+.

The human papillomavirus can cause a sexually transmissible viral infection. Eighty percent of people between 18 and 44 have had oral sex with an opposite sex partner, likely accounting for much of the oral HPV infections observed. There are many forms of HPV. The high risk subtypes of HPV are responsible for 90% of cancer of the cervix. They also play an important role in other genital area cancers. These same subtypes of HPV, especially types 16 and 18, are found present in oropharyngeal area cancers.

HPV+ cancers occur in people who may or may not have a history of excessive tobacco or alcohol use. HPV negative, HPV-, cancers of the oropharynx are virtually always found in those with the history of heavy alcohol and tobacco use.

Both smoking and "smokeless" tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco) increase the risk of developing cancer in the mouth or throat.

  • All forms of smoking are linked to these cancers, including cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Tobacco smoke can cause cancer anywhere in the mouth and throat as well as in the lungs, the bladder, and many other organs in the body. Pipe smoking is particularly linked with lesions of the lips, where the pipe comes in direct contact with the tissue.
  • Smokeless or chewing tobacco is linked with cancers of the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips. Cancers caused by smokeless tobacco use often begin as leukoplakia or erythroplakia.

Other risk factors for mouth and throat cancer include the following:

  • Alcohol use: At least three quarters of people who have an HPV negative mouth and throat cancer consume alcohol frequently. People who drink alcohol frequently are six times more likely to develop one of these cancers. People who both drink alcohol and smoke often have a much higher risk than people who use only tobacco alone.
  • Sun exposure: Just as it increases the risk of skin cancers, ultraviolet radiation from the sun can increase the risk of developing cancer of the lip. People who spend a lot of time in sunlight, such as those who work outdoors, are more likely to have cancer of the lip.
  • Chewing betel nut: This prevalent practice in India and other parts of South Asia has been found to result in mucosa carcinoma of the cheeks. Mucosa carcinoma accounts for less than 10% of oral cavity cancers in the United States but is the most common oral cavity cancer in India.

These are risk factors that can be avoided in some cases. For example, one can choose to not smoke, thus lowering the risk of mouth and throat cancer. The following risk factors are outside of a person's control:

  • Age: The incidence of mouth and throat cancers increases with advancing age.
  • Sex: Mouth and throat cancer is twice as common in men as in women. This may be related to the fact that more men than women use tobacco and alcohol.

The relationship between these risk factors and an individual's risk is not well understood. Many people who have no risk factors develop mouth and throat cancer. Conversely, many people with several risk factors do not. In large groups of people, these factors are linked with higher incidence of oropharyngeal cancers.

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When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Mouth and Throat Cancer?

If a person has any of the symptoms of head and neck cancer, he or she should make an appointment to see a primary care professional or dentist right away.

What Tests Diagnose Mouth and Throat Cancer?

  • Cancers of the mouth and throat are often found on routine dental examination. If a dentist should find an abnormality, he or she will probably refer the person to a specialist in ear, nose, and throat medicine (an otolaryngologist) or recommend that they see a primary health care professional right away.
  • If symptoms are found that suggest a possible cancer, or if an abnormality is found in the oral cavity or pharynx, the health care professional will immediately begin the process of identifying the type of abnormality. The goal will be to rule out or confirm the diagnosis of cancer. He or she will interview the patient extensively, asking questions about medical and surgical history, medications, family and work history, and habits and lifestyle, focusing on the risk factors for oropharyngeal cancers.
  • At some point during this process, the person will probably be referred to a physician who specializes in treating cancers of the mouth and throat. Many cancer specialists (oncologists) specialize in treating cancers of the head and neck, which includes cancers of the oropharynx. Every person has the right to seek treatment where he or she wishes. The patient may want to consult with two or more specialists to find one who makes him or her feel most comfortable.
  • The patient will undergo a thorough examination and cancer screening of the head and neck to look for lesions and abnormalities. A mirror exam and/or an indirect laryngoscopy (see below for explanation) will most likely be done to view areas that are not directly visible on examination, such as the back of the nose (nasopharyngoscopy), the throat (pharyngoscopy), and the voice box (laryngoscopy).
  • The indirect laryngoscopy is performed with the use of a thin, flexible tube containing fiberoptics connected to a camera. The tube is moved through the nose and throat and the camera sends images to a video screen. This allows the physician to see any hidden lesions.
  • In some cases, a panendoscopy may be necessary. This includes endoscopic examination of the nose, throat, and voice box as well as the esophagus and airways of the lungs (bronchi). This is done in an operating room while the patient is under general anesthesia. This gives the most exhaustive possible examination and can permit biopsies of areas suspicious for malignancy.
  • The complete physical examination will look for signs of metastatic cancer or other medical conditions that could affect the diagnosis or treatment plan.

No blood tests can identify or even suggest the presence of a cancer of the mouth or throat. The appropriate next step is biopsy of the lesion. This means to remove a sample of cells or tissue (or the entire visible lesion if small) for examination.

  • There are several techniques for taking a biopsy in the mouth or throat. The sample can be simply scraped from the lesion, removed with a scalpel, or withdrawn with a needle.
  • This can sometimes be done in the medical office other times, it needs to be done in a hospital.
  • The technique is dictated by the size and location of the lesion and by the experience of the person collecting the biopsy.
  • If there is a mass in the neck, that may be sampled as well, usually by fine-needle aspiration biopsy.

After the sample(s) is removed, it will be examined by a doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases by examining cells and tissues (pathologist).

  • The pathologist looks at the tissue under a microscope after treating it with special stains to highlight certain abnormalities.
  • If the pathologist finds cancer, he or she will identify the type of cancer and report back to the health care professional.

If your lesion is cancer, the next step is to stage the cancer. This means to determine the size of the tumor and its extent, that is, how far it has spread from where it started. Staging is important because it not only dictates the best treatment but also the prognosis for survival after treatment.

  • In oropharyngeal cancers, the stage is based on the size of the tumor, involvement of the lymph nodes in the head and neck, and evidence of spread to distant parts of the body.
  • Like many cancers, cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx are staged as 0, I, II, III, and IV, with 0 being the least severe (cancer has not yet invaded the deeper layers of tissue under the lesion) and IV being the most severe (cancer has spread to an adjacent tissue, such as the bones or skin of the neck, to many lymph nodes on the same side of the body as the cancer, to a lymph node on the opposite side of the body, to involve critical structures such as major blood vessels or nerves, or to a distant part of the body).

Stage is determined from the following information:

  • Physical examination findings
  • Endoscopic findings
  • Imaging studies: A number of tests may be done, including X-rays (including a Panorex, a panoramic dental X-ray), CT scan, MRI, PET scan, and, occasionally, a nuclear medicine scan of the bones to detect metastatic disease

What Are Treatment Options for Mouth and Throat Cancer?

After evaluation by a surgical or radiation oncologist to treat the cancer, there will be ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss which treatments are available.

  • The doctor will explain each type of treatment, elaborate the pros and cons, and make recommendations.
  • Treatment for head and neck cancer depends on the type of cancer and whether it has affected other parts of the body. Factors such as age, overall health, and whether the patient has already been treated for the cancer before are included in the treatment decision-making process.
  • The decision of which treatment to pursue is made with the doctor (with input from other members of the care team) and family members, but ultimately, the decision is the patient's.
  • A patient should be certain to understand what will be done and why, and what he or she can expect from the choices. With oral cancers, it is especially important to understand the side effects of treatment.

Like many cancers, head and neck cancer is treated on the basis of cancer stage. The most widely used therapies are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

  • The medical team may include an ear, nose, and throat surgeon an oral surgeon a plastic surgeon and a specialist in prosthetics of the mouth and jaw (prosthodontist), as well as a specialist in radiation therapy (radiation oncologist) and medical oncology.
  • Because cancer treatment can make the mouth sensitive and more likely to be infected, the doctor will probably advise the patient to have any needed dental work done before receiving treatments.
  • The team will also include a dietitian to ensure that the patient gets adequate nutrition during and after therapy.
  • A speech therapist may be needed to help the patient recover his or her speech or swallowing abilities after treatment.
  • A physical therapist may be needed to help the patient recover function compromised by loss of muscle or nerve activity from the surgery.
  • A social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy will be available to help the patient and his or her family cope with the emotional, social, and financial toll of your treatment.

Treatment falls into two categories: treatment to fight the cancer and treatment to relieve the symptoms of the disease and the side effects of the treatment (supportive care).

Surgery is the treatment of choice for early stage cancers and many later stage cancers. The tumor is removed, along with surrounding tissues, including but not limited to the lymph nodes, blood vessels, nerves, and muscles that are affected.

Radiation therapy involves the use of a high-energy beam to kill cancer cells.

  • Radiation can be used instead of surgery for many stage I and II cancers, because surgery and radiation have equivalent survival rates in these tumors. In stage II cancers, tumor location determines the best treatment. The treatment that will have the fewest side effects is usually chosen.
  • Stage III and IV cancers are most often treated with both surgery and radiation. The radiation is typically given after surgery. Radiation after surgery kills any remaining cancer cells.
  • External radiation is given by precisely targeting a beam at the tumor. The beam goes through the healthy skin and overlying tissues to reach the tumor. These treatments are given at the cancer center. Treatments are usually given once a day, five days a week, for about six weeks. Each treatment takes only a few minutes. Giving radiation this way keeps the doses small and helps protect healthy tissues. Some cancer centers are experimenting with giving radiation twice a day to see if it increases survival rates.
  • Unfortunately, radiation affects healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Damage to healthy cells accounts for the side effects of radiation therapy. These include sore throat, dry mouth, cracked and peeling lips, and a sunburn-like effect on the skin. It can cause problems with eating, swallowing, and speaking. The patient may also feel very tired during, and for some time after, these treatments. External beam radiation can also affect the thyroid gland in the neck, causing the level of thyroid hormone to be low. This can be treated.
  • Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) can avoid these side effects in some cases. This involves implanting tiny radioactive "seeds" directly into the tumor or in the surrounding tissue. The seeds emit radiation that destroys tumor cells. This treatment takes several days and the patient will have to stay in the hospital during the treatment. It is less commonly used for oral cancers than external radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy refers to the use of drugs to attempt to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is used in some cases before surgery to reduce the size of the cancer, or after surgery, or in combination with radiation to enhance the local, regional, and distant control of the disease and hopefully the cure rate of the treatment. Hidden cancer cells may escape the area being treated by surgery or radiation and it is those cells which result in recurrences of the cancer and which chemotherapy hopes to prevent by killing such cells. A person's treatment plan will be individualized for his or her specific situation. Targeted therapy refers to the use of newer drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with molecules specific to the particular type of tumor. Older chemotherapy drugs are less specific, or targeted, but rely on cancer cells being less able to recover from their effects than can normal cells.

Treatment of recurrent tumors, like that of primary tumors, varies by size and location of the recurrent tumor. The treatment given previously is also taken into account. For instance, sometimes further surgery can be done. If a site of recurrence was already treated by external radiation therapy may be difficult to treat a second time with external radiation. Often chemotherapy may be tried if a recurrence is inoperable, or further radiation with curative intent is not feasible.

Weight loss is a common effect in people with head and neck cancers. Discomfort from the tumor itself, as well as the effects of treatment on the chewing and swallowing structures and the digestive tract, often prevents eating.

Medications will be offered to treat some of the side effects of therapy, such as nausea, dry mouth, mouth sores, and heartburn.

The patient will probably see a speech therapist during and for some time after treatment. The speech therapist helps the patient learn to cope with the changes in the mouth and throat after treatment so that he or she can eat, swallow, and talk.

Mouth and Throat Cancer Surgery

Oral surgery for cancer may be simple or very complicated. This depends on how far the cancer has spread from where it started. Cancers that have not spread can often be removed quite easily, with minimal scarring or change in appearance.

If the cancer has spread to other structures, those structures must also be removed. This may include small muscles in the neck, lymph nodes in the neck, salivary glands, and nerves and blood vessels that supply the face. Structures of the jaw, chin, and face, as well as teeth and gums, may also be affected.

If any of these structures are removed, the person's appearance will change. The surgery will also leave scars that may be visible. These changes can sometimes be extensive. A plastic surgeon may take part in the planning or in the operation itself to minimize these changes. Reconstructive surgery may be an option to restore tissues removed or altered by surgery.

Removal of tissues and the resulting scars can cause problems with the normal functions of the mouth and throat. These disruptions may be either temporary or permanent. Chewing, swallowing, and speaking are the functions most likely to be disrupted.

Do You Need to See Your Surgeon After Surgery?

After surgery, the patient will see the surgeon, radiation oncologist, or both if he or she has received chemotherapy. The patient will also follow-up with the medical oncologist.

The patient will also continue to see the medical oncologist according to a schedule he or she will recommend. The patient may go through staging tests after completing treatment to determine how well the treatment worked and if he or she has any residual cancer. Thereafter, at regular visits, the patient will undergo physical examination and testing to make sure the cancer has not come back and that a new cancer has not appeared. At least five years of follow-up care is recommended, and many people choose to continue these visits indefinitely. The patient should report any new symptoms to the oncologist immediately. The patient should not wait for the next visit. Speech and swallowing therapy will continue for as long as needed to restore these functions.

Mouth and Throat Cancer Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy, in which a drug is given that is specially designed to target molecules specific to the particular type of cancer, may be administered or combined with other therapies in some cases. Cetuximab and several other new treatments are available for targeted oral cancer therapy. These treatments are often used in conjunction with older forms of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. For example, Cetuximab (Erbitux) is an engineered antibody that binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor, a molecule important for cell growth. It was the first targeted therapy approved for oral cancer. Cetuximab binds to oral cancer cells and interferes with cancer cell growth and the spread of cancer. Cetuximab is given once a week in an injection through a vein (intravenous injection). It may cause certain unique side effects, including an acne-like rash. Today there are numerous other targeted agents being studied for use against squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, as well as against other forms of cancer which can arise elsewhere in the body.


What Is the Prognosis for Mouth and Throat Cancer? What Are Survival Rates for Mouth and Throat Cancer?

The prognosis of oral cancer is dependent upon many factors, including the exact type and stage of the tumor, the type of treatment that is chosen, and the overall health status of the patient. The average five-year survival rate for all people who undergo treatment for head and neck cancer has been reported at approximately 61%. The five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with localized cancers of the oral cavity is about 82%. When the cancer has spread to distant sites, the five-year survival rate drops to about 33%. More accurate percentages and survival statistics depend on the tumor location, staging, type of treatment, and the presence of other medical conditions.

People with a mouth and throat cancer have a chance of developing another head and neck cancer or cancer in a neighboring region such as the voice box (larynx) or esophagus (the tube between the throat and the stomach). Regular follow-up examinations and prevention are extremely important.

Is It Possible to Prevent Mouth and Throat Cancer?

The best way to prevent head and neck cancer is to avoid the risk factors.

  • If the patient uses tobacco, he or she should quit. Substituting "smokeless" tobacco for smoking is not advised. Pipe and cigar smoking are not safer than cigarette smoking.
  • If the patient drinks alcohol, he or she should do so in moderation. The patient should not use both tobacco and alcohol.
  • If the patient works outdoors or is otherwise frequently exposed to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation), he or she should wear protective clothing that blocks the sun. Sunscreen should be applied to the face (including a lip balm with sunscreen) and the patient should wear a wide-brimmed hat any time he or she is outdoors.
  • Sources of oral irritation, such as ill-fitting dentures, should be avoided. If the patient wears dentures, he or she should remove and clean them every day. A dentist should check their fit regularly.

The patient should eat a balanced diet to avoid vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies. He or she should make sure to eat foods with plenty of vitamin A, including fruits, vegetables, and supplemented dairy products.

The patient should ask his or her dentist or primary care professional to check their oral cavity and pharynx regularly to look for precancerous lesions and other abnormalities. The patient should report any symptoms such as persistent pain, hoarseness, bleeding, or difficulty swallowing.

Support Groups and Counseling for Mouth and Throat Cancer

Upon completion of cancer treatment, the patient should request a survivorship care plan. Such a plan will include a summary of the treatments that they received. It will also outline further recommended follow-up appointments, scans, and other tests anticipated. Living with cancer presents many new challenges for the patient and for his or her family and friends.

  • The patient will probably have many worries about how the cancer will affect his or her ability to "live a normal life," that is, to care for family and home, to hold a job, and to continue the friendships and activities that he or she enjoys.
  • Many people feel anxious and depressed. Some people feel angry and resentful others feel helpless and defeated.

For most people with cancer, talking about their feelings and concerns helps.

  • Friends and family members can be very supportive. They may be hesitant to offer support until they see how the patient is coping. The patient should not wait for them to bring it up. If the patient wants to talk about his or her concerns, let them know.
  • Some people don't want to "burden" their loved ones, or they prefer talking about their concerns with a more neutral professional. A social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful if the patient wants to discuss his or her feelings and concerns about having cancer. The doctor should be able to recommend someone.
  • Many people with cancer are profoundly helped by talking to other people who have cancer. Sharing concerns with others who have been through the same thing can be remarkably reassuring. Support groups of people with cancer may be available through the medical center where the patient receives treatment. The American Cancer Society also has information about support groups all over the United States.

Are There Clinical Trials for Oral Cancer?

As with other types of cancers, some patients may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial as part of their treatment plan. These are medically supervised studies that evaluate new treatments or new combinations of treatments.

35. Helping Out Nixon

When Richard Nixon vetoed a minimum wage bill that was passing through Congress, Kroc was embroiled in controversy as many accused him of influencing the president with his money. To be fair, Kroc had contributed $255,000 to Nixon’s reelection campaign before the bill came across the president’s desk. Gotta say, that does look just a little suspicious…

Getty Images

Squamous Throat Cancer Survival Rate

Squamous Throat Cancer Survival Rate Throat cancer or squamous carcinoma of the amygdala is a part of the head and neck cancers. In oncology, cancers of the squamous cells of the head and neck are often considered together because they share many similarities – in the incidence, the type of cancer, the predisposing factors, the pathological characteristics, the Cancer treatment and the prognosis of cancer. Up to 30% of cancer patients with primary and cervical tumors will have a second primary malignancy. Squamous Throat Cancer Survival Rate cell carcinoma of the amygdala

The pharynx is the continuation of the nose and mouth. It is a muscular tube that falls under the throat and is responsible for the passage of air (larynx, trachea, and lungs) and food (in the esophagus and then in the stomach). Food and air paths intersect the pharynx. In addition, the ear canal opens to the upper throat. The pharyngeal walls consist of fascia and muscular layers, all filled with mucosa. The pharynx is divided into three different zones based on the anatomical position: the nasopharynx (behind the nose). Oropharynx (behind the mouth) Laryngopharyngeal (behind the larynx).

The tonsils are a lymphoid tissue ring around the upper throat. They consist of the lingual almond at the back of the tongue, palate tonsils and pharyngeal tonsils. Lymphoid tissue acts as a barrier against the infection.

Risk factors for throat cancer (squamous cell carcinoma of tonsil cells)
This type of throat cancer shows a strong association with alcohol consumption and smoking, especially cigarettes-in fact, tobacco is considered to be involved in well over 80% of throat cancer cases. Chronic exposure of the head and neck epithelial surfaces to these irritants is believed to result in a sequence of “field cancer” hyperplasia, dysplasia, and carcinoma. That is the development of precancerous lesions that can then undergo a malignant change to become throat cancer. Smoking and Alcohol act synergistically in the development of throat cancer – the risk when these two factors are present is more than double the risk of exposure to a single factor.

There is a dose-response relationship between exposure to tobacco smoke and the development of throat cancer – the more you smoke, the higher the risk. Smokers are up to 25 times more likely to develop throat cancer than their non-smoking counterparts. Passive smoking, tobacco chewing, and smoking are also risk factors for the development of throat cancers. Up to the point of development of overt carcinoma, many changes associated with the cigarette will reverse if the patient throat cancer closes smoking.

Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for the development of throat cancer also shows a dose-response relationship – heavy drinkers are at greater risk. Also, drinkers of spirits may be more at risk of throat cancer than those who drink wine.

Chronic viral infection is also associated with the development of carcinoma of the head and neck. The Epstein-Barr virus is strongly associated with the development of nasopharyngeal cancer, while human papillomavirus, herpes simplex virus and human immunodeficiency virus have been associated with the development of a number of cancers Different from the head and neck. This is believed to be due to their interference with the function of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes.

Other risk factors for neck cancer include immunodeficiency states (such as solid organ transplantation). Professional exposure to agents such as asbestos and perchloroethylene. Radiological dietary factors. A genetic predisposition for the development of laryngeal cancer and poor oral hygiene.

The development of pharyngeal cancer (squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsils)
This type of cancer is multiplied by local expansion, especially in the soft palate and by the destruction of adjacent tissues. Lymphatic invasion with cervical lymph nodes is common in the diagnosis of neck cancer. A hemodynamic spread in remote areas such as the liver, bones, and lungs may have occurred at the time of diagnosis of this type of neck cancer.

How is thalassemia diagnosed (squamous cell carcinoma of the almond)?
General studies of this type of throat cancer may show anemia or abnormal liver function tests if the disease is too advanced or because of the cause of throat cancer. In the early stages of pharynx cancer, general research tends to be normal.

Prognosis of throat cancer (squamous carcinoma of the Tonsil)
The early cancer of the throat detected incidentally is associated with a good prognosis. The involvement of lymph nodes in the region is associated with a prognosis of poorer throat cancer. 5 years of survival in the first cases is more than 90%. In advanced throat cancer, this decreases to less than 20%. In addition, the causal factors associated with throat cancer (mainly smoking and alcohol) make survival worse for patients even with cured or controlled tonsillar cancer. The concept of “field cancer” means that they are at increased risk of developing second primary cancer tumors in the head and neck region, as well as being at significant risk of cardiovascular and hepatic diseases Associated with their way of life.

How is throat cancer (squamous cell carcinoma of the Tonsil) treated?
The best treatment for throat cancer is radiation therapy, but throat cancer surgery is also an appropriate option in specific cases, or both treatments can be combined. Radiation therapy is usually preferred because it has a high cure rate, also treats the regional lymph nodes and is associated with the possibility of less post-treatment morbidity. Radiation and surgery are associated with similar healing rates.

Patients treated with throat cancer in local or regional advance are treated most with a note with a comalisée modality therapy of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Concomitant chemotherapy (with 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin) and radiotherapy seem to be the most effective sequencing of pharynx cancer therapy.

Patients with recurrent throat cancer and/or métastatif are, with few intentions treated with the intention of palliative care. Chemotherapy can be used for transient symptomatic benefits. treatment with a single agent activity in this context include methotrexate, 5FU, cisplatin, paclitaxel, docetaxel. Combinations of cisplatin and 5-FU, carboplatin and 5FU, as well as cisplatin and paclitaxel are also used.

Squamous Throat Cancer Survival Rate

Improving the symptoms of throat cancer is an important step. Specific monitoring can be carried out by a thorough serial inspection of the head and neck region – in search of recurrence of the disease as well as second primary cancer tumor. Ideally, this would include a pan-/triple-Endoscopy. There are no specific screening recommendations at this time, but several clinical trials of throat cancer are being undertaken for different screening techniques.

The symptoms of throat cancer that may require attention are the somatic pain of bone metastases, the visceral pain of hepatic or pulmonary metastases, and neurogenic pain if the nerve tissue is compressed. Coughing and shortness of lung participation may require specific treatment.


Q. why is smoking bad for you?

A. There are numerous reasons why smoking is bad: it increases the risk for many cancers (and the more nasty ones, the ones that are not easily treated, if at all), in increases the risk to disease of the heart and blood vessels (sounds less dangerous, but still No 1. killer), it can cause chronic obstructive lung disease (imagine sitting in your chair, dependent on the oxygen mask, while even lacing your shoes cause you to feel out of breath), and many others.

Not to mention the cosmetic aspect: it gives a yellow shade to your fingers and teeth, it accelerate damage to the skin and can cause hoarseness.

It doesn't affect only you but also the people around you - your children your spouse, your friend that you expose to the smoke. And we haven't even mentioned the economical burden and social aspects.

There are many other reasons, but the decision to accept smoking as a bad thing must first be made by the listener- otherwise all I mentioned above wouldn't make any difference.

Q. Am I addicted to smoking? I only smoke when I go out with my friends to a pub and at parties. Does this make me an addict?

HPV: the facts

There are more than 100 variants of HPV (human papillomavirus). They appear in different parts of the body and manifest themselves in different ways – some cause warts, but most are symptomless.

Some are spread by skin-to-skin contact, while others are typically spread during sex. When HPV is found in the mouth, it probably got there as a result of oral sex.

HPV is common – if you're a sexually active adult, you've probably had it. By the age of 25, 90% of sexually active people will have been exposed to some form of genital HPV.

Around 15 types of HPV are linked to increased cancer risk, but it can't be explicitly said to cause any particular cancers. It's a long-term risk factor: over years and decades the risk is increased, rather than overnight.

It is calculated that between 25% and 35% of oral cancers are HPV-related – meaning that it seems to be involved in 1,500-2,000 diagnoses a year.

Overall, HPV-related oral cancers are most common in heterosexual men in their 40s and 50s.

Teenage girls in the UK and elsewhere are now vaccinated against HPV, which should in time both protect them from cervical cancers and – it's believed – future partners from HPV-related oral cancers.

19 Wildly Dangerous Home Remedies From 100 Years Ago

It's hard to understand just how far medical science has progressed over the last hundred years . until you look at what passed for standard, advisable treatment back then. Here are 19 doctor-approved ideas from Mother's Remedies: Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers of the United States and Canada by Dr. Thomas Jefferson Ritter, originally published in 1910.

1. Without the luxury of over-the-counter decongestant to soothe a stopped-up nose and scratchy throat, early-20th-century doctors advised an at-home method that would surely result in a malpractice suit. The three step process advised patients to smoke mullein leaves (making sure to exhale through the nose, of course), syringe a mixture of boric acid and water into the nostrils several times a day, and "frequently inhale" a mixture of ammonia, iodine and carbolic acid.

2. If the previous method failed to work, a "spray of a four-percent solution of cocaine" or direct application of a cotton ball soaked in an even stronger solution in the nostril was recommended for "immediate relief."

3. For a nosebleed, find "an old brown puff-ball from the ground," remove the insides and put it in the nose. Let it "remain for some time." In case you're curious what a puffball is, it's a kind of fungus.

4. No puffballs available? That's okay! A "similarly effective" method for curing that nosebleed suggests raising the arms above the head, applying ice or cold cloths to the neck or spine, and in extreme cases, "ice may be applied to the scrotum or breasts" while simultaneously syringing warm saltwater into the nostrils.

5. Here's a "splendid" liniment for sore throat:

Olive oil (half-pint), ammonia (half-pint), turpentine (half-pint), one egg. Shake until the mixture forms an emulsion. Apply to the neck and throat until a blister forms. Wipe clean and apply cold cream.

6. Suppose blistering your neck doesn't relieve your sore throat. What then? Cocaine, of course. Mix it with warm water and some olive oil and "paint it into the throat." Alternately, sucking on a cocaine lozenge before eating "will be found very useful."

7. Croup can be scary,especially for first-time parents. Should you travel back to 1900 and find your baby coughing spasmodically in the night, a "tested and true" treatment your neighbor might recommend is a spoonful of sugar. Not scary at all, actually. But before you give it to the kiddo, just put a few drops of kerosene on it. The idea, apparently, is to induce vomiting, which it probably does.

8. For asthma: "inhale chloroform." Assuming chloroform isn't readily available, other options include smoking saltpeter, the smoke of burning coffee, or cigarettes containing thornapple.

9. Tapeworms giving you grief? Two doses of the following mixture was considered an "excellent remedy": Castor oil (half an ounce) and turpentine (15 drops). Alternately, you can mix the previous two items with a cup of milk, but there's no indication that this makes it better.

10. If you find you're losing some hair, here's a quick and easy fix: Make some sage tea. Now mix it with an equal part whisky. Now take a sip, then add "a dash of quinine" to the cup and spray, paint or rinse over the scalp as often as needed, at least twice a day.

11. A slightly stronger anti-hairloss method (and one that's "guaranteed" to produce results) is to rub a blend of almond oil, rosemary extract, wine, distilled water, and mercury bichloride into the scalp every morning until your hair grows back or unexplained death, whichever comes first.

12. For dry, chapped skin: Spoon a few ounces of sour cream into a flannel cloth. Tie up the ends. Bury the cloth in some dark, soft soil and leave overnight. Dig the cloth back up "mid-morning" and apply the "enriched" sour cream to hands, knees, heels and elbows as needed.

13. Eczema is a challenging condition and there doesn't seem to be a universally effective treatment. Still, we do not recommend trying out the following DIY wash formula:

Mix half an ounce of laudanum with seven and one-half ounces of "sugar of lead," [that's lead(II) acetate]. Soak into gauze strips and apply to afflicted parts.

14. Lice are persistent and it may take several different treatments to get rid of them. One such treatment? Pure kerosene. Again, watch for the blistering, and make sure you follow up with some cold cream—24 hours later, when you're supposed to shampoo it out.

15. Got a problem with body lice? Just get some blue ointment. It's only 20% mercury, so you may need to apply it several times per day.

16. Ringworm is highly contagious and nothing to mess around with. If you find yourself stranded in 1905 with a case of the unsightly infection, mix some gunpowder with vinegar to form a thickish paste. If one application doesn't do it, two or three should knock it right out.

17. Anyone with acne can tell you it's difficult to treat. That's why there are so many products available now. But it seems our great-grandparents had no idea what to do, because a mixture of lard and ground cannabis indica seems counter-effective and is illegal in most states.

18. Got a sunburn? Mix together equal parts cornstarch and oat flour, then drop in a dram of lead carbonate. Just dust it wherever, no worries.

19. For canker sores, there are many, many recommended treatments that have been "proven effective" by brave and no-longer-alive people, including tomato juice, half a lemon held against the area, rinses of baking soda and boric acid and vinegar. Or if you're feeling especially bold, a piece of raw chicken skin can be applied to the sore and left "until no longer painful."

Just to reiterate: None of these are healthy or advisable. Please don't put puffballs in your nose or lead on your scalp.

Symptoms of Mouth and Throat Cancer

Symptoms of mouth and throat cancer vary somewhat depending on where the cancer is located.

Mouth cancer is usually painless for a considerable length of time but eventually causes pain as the cancer grows. When pain begins, it usually occurs with swallowing, as with a sore throat. People may have difficulty speaking. Squamous cell carcinomas of the mouth often look like open sores (ulcers) and tend to grow into the underlying tissues. The sores may be flat or slightly raised patches, colored red (erythroplakia) or white (leukoplakia).

Cancers of the lip and other parts of the mouth often feel rock hard and are attached to the underlying tissues. Most noncancerous lumps in these areas are freely movable. Discolored areas on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth also may be signs of cancer. An area in the mouth that has recently become brown or darkly discolored may be a melanoma. Sometimes a brown, flat, freckle-like area (smoker's patch) develops at the site where a cigarette or pipe is habitually held between the lips.

Throat cancer typically causes throat pain that increases with swallowing, difficulty swallowing and speaking, and ear pain. Sometimes, a lump in the neck is the first sign of throat cancer.

Image provided by Jonathan A. Ship, DMD.

Erythroplakia is a general term for red, flat, or worn-away velvet-looking sores that develop in the mouth. In this image, a squamous cell carcinoma is surrounded by a margin of erythroplakia.

Photo provided by Jonathan A. Ship, DMD.

Leukoplakia is a general term for white spots that develop in the mouth. Most of the spots are noncancerous. However, in this photo, squamous cell carcinoma is present in one of the spots on the underside of the tongue.

In most types of mouth and throat cancer, once symptoms make it difficult to eat, people begin to lose weight.

Watch the video: Τι συμβαίνει όταν Κόβουμε το Τσιγάρο; . Natalia Marinkovic