Hypopharyngeal cancer is silent and has no symptoms

Hypopharyngeal cancer has no obvious symptoms, so only 4% of cases are detected early, 60-80% of patients have neck lymph node metastases at the time of diagnosis.

Information was given by Doctor Nguyen Thanh Nam, Center for Digestion and Hepatology, Bach Mai Hospital (Hanoi) at the conference. Update diagnosis, treatment and new endoscopic techniques in some digestive diseases, May 25. This is an opportunity for domestic and foreign doctors to share experiences and research to provide the best treatment for patients.

Hypopharyngeal cancer is a malignant tumor that appears in the hypopharynx, typically the pyriform sinus, and then spreads quickly into the larynx. At this time it is called hypopharyngeal – laryngeal cancer.

According to Dr. Nam, hypopharyngeal cancer is a common cancer in men between 40 and 60 years old. The rate of detecting the disease in early stages is very low, only 4%, and stage 2 is only 9-13%. Most cases are detected at a late stage, with metastasis to the neck lymph nodes. The survival rate of patients with hypopharyngeal cancer after 5 years is only from 15% to 45%.

“Detecting hypopharyngeal cancer at an early stage when there are no symptoms is a big challenge for doctors,” Dr. Nam said.

Risk factors for hypopharyngeal cancer are mainly due to smoking, alcohol use, and HPV virus; People with gastroesophageal reflux are also at risk group. Signs of the disease include increasing difficulty swallowing, leading to choking or obstruction. The patient feels pain when swallowing, the pain lasts and becomes severe, and can spread to the ears. There are lymph nodes in the neck area, the lymph nodes gradually enlarge, become hard and fixed in one place.

Gastrointestinal endoscopy patient at Bach Mai Hospital. Image: But Nga

Recently, magnifying endoscopy of the digestive tract with a narrow frequency band can provide high-quality images and be effective in early detection of throat and laryngeal cancer. If the patient is detected to have an abnormality, the doctor uses endoscopic submucosal dissection – a minimally invasive procedure to treat early gastrointestinal cancer. At Bach Mai Hospital, doctors performed this technique in 60-80 minutes, no complications were recorded, and the treatment was minimally invasive.

Associate Professor Nguyen Cong Long, Director of the Digestive and Hepatobiliary Center, Bach Mai Hospital, said that statistics record that each year Vietnam has more than 200,000 new cases and more than 100,000 deaths due to cancer, of which cancer Gastrointestinal cancer accounts for more than 30%. However, symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer are often faint, progress silently and are easily confused with other digestive diseases, so they are only detected at a late stage.

Therefore, diagnosing the disease at an early stage as well as applying advances in treatment is very important to increase the cure rate, limit side effects, and improve the quality of life for patients.

By Editor

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