Can Throat Cancer Be detected By Blood Test & Is Cancer in Throat Deadly?

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in the current era. There are different types of cancer that can affect anyone, regardless of the age, gender and race. Though there are certain risk factors that increase the chances of cancer, in general, anyone can be affected by this deadly disease.

One of the most common types of cancer is throat cancer. Though the term throat cancer is commonly used, it is actually a broad term that includes oral cancer, laryngeal cancer as well as hypopharyngeal cancer. When you have any of the different types of throat cancer, you will have different signs and symptoms that will help the doctor to identify your condition and make a clinical diagnosis on the type of cancer. However, to be assured about the type of cancer that you are suffering from, you need to go through certain diagnostic tests.

Can Throat Cancer be Detected by Blood Test?

Can Throat Cancer be Detected by Blood Test?

Usually, cancer cells are found in the form of lumps or tumours. Not all lumps or tumours are cancerous or malignant; some are also benign or harmless. When you notice a lump or tumour that you have discovered yourself or the doctor has discovered through clinical diagnosis or by going through other signs and symptoms that you may have had, he/she will ask for running a biopsy test. A biopsy test is the best way to tell, if the tumour is malignant or benign.

However, a blood test cannot detect throat cancer.

In recent research studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute, a link between blood tests to detect the possibility of throat cancer has been found. Most of the people associate throat cancer with tobacco or alcohol consumption; but, what they do not know or have an idea of is that oral cancer has an equal chance of occurrence through HPV16 (human papilloma virus).

60% of all the oral and throat cancer cases currently in the United States of America are caused by HPV16. When someone is infected by the HPV16, the continuous infection causes cellular changes. This leads to cancer. Also, the HPV E6 virus aids in the formation of cancerous tumours. The research shows that antibodies of HPV have been detected in the blood tests of patients, years before they have been diagnosed with oral or throat cancer. Therefore, it can be inferred that the blood test results can indicate a possibility of oral and throat cancer in the future. Some of the HPV antibodies that have been found in the blood test results are even 10 years before the occurrence of oral and throat cancer.

Is Cancer in Throat Deadly?

Like any other type of cancer, throat cancer too is a serious one. However, whether throat cancer is deadly or not, is dependent on when the disease has been diagnosed. The survival rate for throat cancer in stage 1 is 5 years. This means that patients diagnosed with throat and oral cancer in stage 1 will live at least for 5 years. 59% of supraglottis cancer patients, 90% of glottis cancer patients, 65% of subglottis cancer patients and 53% of hypopharynx cancer patients, who are diagnosed with cancer in the stage 1, have a survival rate higher than 5 years. If the patients are diagnosed with throat cancer in stage 4, the survival rate is likely to be reduced significantly. So, whether throat cancer is deadly or not depends largely on the stage that you are diagnosed with and your overall health condition.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 10, 2021

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