A new study has found cancer could be the cause of a persistent sore throat that is combined with having trouble swallowing food, shortness of breath and earache.
Experts recommend patients with persistent hoarseness or a neck lump should be screened for laryngeal or throat cancer. However, experts note patients should not worry if they are only experiencing a sore throat. "A sore throat on its own wasn't linked to laryngeal cancer," Weilin Wu of UK's Cancer Research, told a news portal. Adding, "But importantly, this study also provides the best evidence to date to support the current recommendation to refer older patients with persistent hoarseness."
The study was conducted by a team from the University of Exeter. Researchers examined patient records from close to 600 GP practices. They also studied 806 patients diagnosed with cancer of the larynx, as well as 3,559 control patients.
This is the first study to dive into the symptoms that might be associated with this type of cancer. "The significance of the study really is that we've found that hoarseness is important for laryngeal cancer, but significantly the risk of having laryngeal cancer greatly increases when it's combined with a recurrent sore throat," lead author Dr Elizabeth Shephard told a news portal. "If we get people earlier we can then diagnose the cancer at an earlier stage and they will have access to the right treatment," she went on to explain.