Head physicians with patients who have persistent throat pain, combined with low respiration, swallowing or illness problems, should consider cancer as the cause, according to a new investigation.
Currently, it is recommended that patients with persistent rudeness or inexplicable neck bag investigate for the throat or laryngeal cancer.
However, Weilin Wu of Cancer Research UK said patients should not be alarmed.
"A sore throat alone was not related to laryngeal cancer," he said.
"But, above all, this study also provides the best evidence so far to support the current recommendation to refer to older patients with persistent snoring."
The larynx is part of the throat found at the entrance of the trachea that helps you breathe and talk.
In the United Kingdom, there are about 2,000 new cases of laryngeal cancer every year.
The research, led by the University of Exeter, examined the records of patients with more than 600 GP practices and studied 806 patients diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and 3,559 control patients. It is published in the British Journal of General Practice.
The lead author, Dr. Elizabeth Shephard, said that it was the first real observation of all the symptoms that could be important for laryngeal cancer.
"The importance of the study is that we have discovered that hoarseness is important for laryngeal cancer, but the risk of having larynx cancer increases considerably when combined with a recurrent throat," he said.
- More common in men
- Very related to the consumption of tobacco and alcohol
- Early diagnosis improves the results
- Radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy are the main treatments
- If the cancer is advanced, the patient may have to undergo surgery to remove part or all of the larynx
- These patients will no longer be able to speak or breathe in the usual way
- Breathe through a permanent hole in the neck (stoma) and will need additional treatment to help restore your voice
- This may include a throat implant or an electrical device that hold against the throat to produce sound
Source: NHS options
One of the authors of the study, Professor Willie Hamilton, was the clinical leader of the current guidelines of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
He said his research is important because he "has shown the potential seriousness of some combinations of symptoms that previously were considered low risk."
"When the NICE guide for cancer research was published, there was no evidence of GP practices to guide it, nor to inform GPs," he said.
But he points out that they do not talk about any sore throat, "the sore throat must be important enough to go to the GP."
"We are all accustomed to sore throat, but sore throats that are reported to GP doctors are no longer usual because they have gone beyond the patient's standards."
And it is the combination of persistent symptoms: sore throat, hoarseness and breathing or swallowing problems, which could be a warning sign, he said.
Dr. Shephard said the studio will adapt to the NICE guidelines when they are updated.
"It is vital to select the right patients for their derivation. If we get people before, we can diagnose the cancer at an earlier stage and have access to the right treatment."