Throat Cancer Screening in Tarzana

Throat Cancer Screening - Marc Cohen M.D, Tarzana Surgeon

Throat Cancer Screening

Throat cancer refers to any malignant growths of abnormal cells that multiply and divide rapidly and uncontrollably in any part of the throat, including the voice box, tonsils, vocal cords, or oropharynx.

There are two categories of throat cancer:

Pharyngeal cancer

Develops in the pharynx, or the tube connecting the nose to the windpipe. There are three types of pharyngeal cancers depending on the location where it develops:

  • Nasopharynx cancer - affects the upper throat
  • Oropharynx cancer - affects the middle throat
  • Hypopharynx - affects the bottom throat

Laryngeal cancer

Develops in the voice box or larynx.

Possible screening tests

Screening involves testing for the early stages of throat cancer, long before the symptoms begin to show. Throat cancer screening is only useful if the tests are reliable in early detection of cancerous cells, and do more good than harm to the patients.

To screen for laryngeal cancer, Dr. Cohen will perform a flexible endoscopy test of your larynx. He will insert a flexible tube - with a light and camera on the front end - a short way down the throat via your nose in order to visually inspect the inside of your nose, back of your mouth, and down the throat.

He may also insert a laryngoscope in your voice box to examine your vocal cords via a magnifying lens through a process known as laryngoscopy.

If any abnormalities are found, Dr. Cohen will collect a tissue sample for the biopsy test in a laboratory. He may also use fine-needle aspiration to examine a sample of a swollen lymph node.


If the cancer is confirmed, Dr. Cohen will use imaging tests, as well as determine the extent of the cancer - stage I indicates a small tumor and stage IV indicated advanced cancer.

Treatment depends on the stage of your throat cancer, the location, type of cells, your general health, and personal preferences. Options include radiation therapy, surgery, targeted drug therapy, and chemotherapy.

Dr. Cohen will discuss with you each treatment option, as well as rehabilitation and supportive care.