Throat Cancer Treatment

Throat cancer treatments vary with throat cancer severity and how far throat cancer has spread. Different stages and types of throat cancer will require different treatments, or combinations of treatment in some cases.

Some people, especially those with throat cancer risk factors, such as smoking, may even have recurrent throat cancer, which may require more treatment.

The most common throat cancer treatments are:

  • chemotherapy
  • radiation treatment
  • surgery.

For the early stages of throat cancer, surgery alone may be used to remove the cancerous tissue and cells in the throat.

For the middle stages of throat cancer, treatment will most likely be a combination of surgery and radiation treatment to destroy any cancer cells remaining after surgery.

For the most severe stages of throat cancer, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgery may all be used as treatment.

Many throat cancers in advanced stages will require a laryngectomy (removal of the larynx) or a pharyngectomy (removal of the pharynx). Throat cancer can also spread to the lymph nodes, which may require a neck dissection, another type of surgery that attempts to remove cancer cells before they spread to the rest of the body.

Throat cancer treatments become more severe as throat cancer advances, so early detection and diagnosis is important for throat cancer patients. See a doctor if you have throat cancer risk factors, like smoking or a family history of throat cancer, or if any of these early-stage throat cancer symptoms persist longer than two weeks:

  • changes in voice
  • difficulty swallowing or moving the tongue or jaw
  • hoarseness
  • lumps inside the mouth
  • lump in throat
  • persistent sore throat
  • sores in mouth that dont go away
  • thickening of the cheeks.


Chemotherapy is usually only used as a treatment for severe cases of throat cancer, most often in the later stages of throat cancer. Chemotherapy is most often used in conjunction with radiation treatment and surgery.

Read on to learn more about chemotherapy, its effectiveness in treating throat cancer and more.

Radiation Treatment

Radiation treatment is used to treat the middle stages of throat cancer. The treatment is used in combination with surgery in most throat cancer cases. Radiation treatment seeks to destroy cancer cells that may be remaining after surgery.

Read on to learn more about radiation treatment, its effectiveness in treating throat cancer and more.


Surgery is used as a treatment in almost every stage of throat cancer. In the early stages, surgery is the sole treatment administered, but in later stages it may be combined with chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Throat cancer surgery can be restricted to the removal of cancerous tissue and cells, or it can involve the removal of the larynx or the pharynx. In some cases, a neck dissection surgery may be necessary.

Read on to learn about throat cancer surgery, the different types of throat cancer surgery, when each type is used, the effectiveness of each, side effects and after effects of surgery and more.


Intelihealth (2007). Throat Cancer (Larynx And Pharynx). Retrieved August 27, 2007, from the Intelihealth Web site: