Trachea cancer is very rare and only affects one in a thousand of all cancer cases. The Trachea itself is also known as the windpipe it connects your mouth and nose directly to your lungs; it can actually be felt if you rub the front of your neck.
As with most cancers the causes of trachea cancer are unknown although there have been links to smoking as a contributing factor especially in smokers over 60. As the trachea is so tough usually a lump is not present, the symptoms of trachea cancer typically include coughing, breathless and general wheezing. It may also include fevers, chest infections and chills that keep returning, it should be noted however that all these symptoms could be something other than cancer and a self diagnosis is not recommended.
Usually the cancer is so rare that it is mistaken for asthma or a similar illness so if the doctor is concerned a number of tests will be carried to check the extent of the problem. An x-ray is usually carried out eventhough it is unlikely to show the trachea cancer itself and a CT and an MRI scan may be used to assess whether the cancer has spread. To examine the trachea even closer a tube fitted with a camera maybe sent into the trachea via your mouth but not before the appropriate anaesthetic is administered, once inside the camera will take pictures and samples of the area will be taken analysis.
The cancer is so rare that doctors do not have a standard way of staging it so the doctor will simply explain what it is and the various treatments that are available. Treatment usually involves surgery, however the trachea is very important for breathing and sometimes there is too much cancer to remove safely in which case radiotherapy is used to kill the cancer.
Filed Under: Trachea Cancer
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