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Throat Cancer Claim

Throat cancer can form anywhere in the upper, middle or lower part of the throat. It is relatively rare but there are known increase risks of developing the disease in workers who have been exposed to certain chemicals and substances, such as asbestos and coal dust.

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Cancer is a class of diseases in which abnormal cells multiply and divide uncontrollably in the body. These abnormal cells form malignant growths called tumors. Throat cancer refers to cancer of the voice box, the vocal cords, and other parts of the throat, such as the tonsils and the oropharynx.

Throat cancer is often grouped into two categories: pharyngeal cancer, which forms in the pharynx (the hollow tube that runs from behind your nose to the top of your windpipe) and laryngeal cancer, which forms in the larynx (your voice box).

The larynx is part of the throat found at the entrance of the windpipe (trachea). It plays an important role in helping you breathe and speak. In the UK, there are about 2,400 new cases of laryngeal cancer each year. The condition is more common in people over the age of 60. It's about four times more common in men than women.

The main symptoms of laryngeal cancer include:

  • a change in your voice, such as sounding hoarse
  • pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing
  • a lump or swelling in your neck
  • a long-lasting cough
  • a persistent sore throat or earache
  • in severe cases, difficulty breathing

Some people may also experience bad breath, breathlessness, a high-pitched wheezing noise when breathing, unexplained weight loss, or fatigue (extreme tiredness). Your risk of getting the condition is increased by exposure to certain chemicals and substances, such as asbestos and coal dust

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Can I claim compensation?

You may be able to claim compensation from your employer or if they are no longer trading their insurer if identified. This area of law is complex and you should consult a specialist solicitor who will explain the complexities and how a claim may be proven if you consider that your employment may be responsible.

What if I have symptoms?

You should seek medical advice if you have any symptoms such as a change in your voice or sounding hoarse, pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing, a lump or swelling in your neck, long-lasting cough or a persistent sore throat or earache and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing.

It may not be cancer but your GP can refer you to a hospital for further tests if necessary so that you can be given the treatment that you may need.

What types of substances may increase the risk of throat cancer

Your risk of getting the condition is increased by:

  • smoking tobacco
  • regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol
  • having a family history of head and neck cancer
  • having an unhealthy diet
  • exposure to certain chemicals and substances, such as asbestos and coal dust

Work in the rubber industry: working with strong inorganic acid mists including sulphuric acid increases the risk of development of throat cancer.

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