Larynx Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- Throat cancer (larynx cancer) facts*
- What is the larynx?
- What is cancer?
- Who is at risk for larynx cancer?
- What are symptoms of larynx cancer?
- How is larynx cancer diagnosed?
- How is staging for throat cancer determined?
- What are treatment options for larynx cancer?
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- How does a person get a second opinion after a throat cancer diagnosis?
- What can people with throat cancer eat?
- What is involved in rehabilitation after surgery for larynx cancer?
- What follow-up care is needed after treatment for throat cancer?
- What support is available for patients with larynx cancer?
- What research is being done on throat cancer? What about clinical trials?
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs that treat laryngeal cancer are usually given through a vein (intravenous). The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel throughout your body.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often given at the same time. You may receive chemotherapy in an outpatient part of the hospital, at the doctor's office, or at home. Some people need to stay in the hospital during treatment.
The side effects depend mainly on which drugs are given and how much. Chemotherapy kills fast-growing cancer cells, but the drugs can also harm normal cells that divide rapidly:
- Blood cells: When drugs lower the levels of healthy blood cells, you're more likely to get infections, bruise or bleed easily, and feel weak and tired. Your health care team will check for low levels of blood cells. If your levels are low, your health care team may stop the chemotherapy for a while or reduce the dose of the drug.
- Cells in hair roots: Chemotherapy may cause hair loss. If you lose your hair, it will grow back, but it may change in color and texture.
- Cells that line the digestive tract: Chemotherapy can cause a poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, or mouth and lip sores. Your health care team can give you medicines and suggest other ways to help with these problems.
Also, chemotherapy can cause painful mouth and gums, dry mouth, infection, and changes in taste. Some drugs used for laryngeal cancer can cause tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. You may have these problems only during treatment or for a short time after treatment ends.
Next: Targeted therapy
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