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Head & Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer usually form in the squamous cells that line the mucosal surface inside the head and neck, such as: inside the nose, mouth and the throat.

Squamous cell cancer is often known as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. This type of cancer also begins in the salivary gland, which is very uncommon.

The head and neck cancers are further categorized by the area of the head or neck in which they form, such as:

Types Of Hearing Loss

  • Oral cavity: Includes the front two-thirds of the tongue, the lips, the gums, the inside of the cheeks, bottom of the mouth under the tongue and the small area of the gum behind the wisdom teeth.
  • Pharynx: A hollow tube of 5 inches long that begins from behind the nose and leads to the esophagus.
  • Larynx: Also known as voicebox which contain the vocal cords and has small piece of tissue known as epiglottis.
  • Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity: A small hollow space in the bone of the head which is surrounding the nose.
  • Salivary gland: This gland is present in the floor of the mouth and near the jawbone.

The cancer of the eye, the brain, the esophagus and the thyroid gland as well as the scalp, muscle, skin and bones of the head and neck are generally not classified as head and neck cancer.

Cause for Head and Neck Cancer:

The two most important risk factor for head and neck cancers are alcohol and tobacco, especially cancers of the oral cavity, hypopharynx, oropharynx and larynx.

Cancer causing types of HPV (human papillomavirus) infection is a risk factor for particularly oropharyngeal cancers which involves the tonsils or the base of the tongue.

Symptoms for Head and Neck cancers:

A lump or a sore that does not heal can be a symptom of head and neck cancers. Difficulty in swallowing and a change or hoarseness in the voice may be caused by other less serious conditions.

It is important for you to check with our doctor if you are showing any of these symptoms.

Treatment for Head and Neck cancers:

Our doctor will evaluate your medical history and conduct a physical examination and other diagnostic tests to find the cause of the signs and symptoms of a problem in the head and neck area.

Depending on the symptoms, the exams and tests may vary. Sample tissue examination under a microscope is necessary to confirm a cancer.

Once the cancer is diagnosed, our doctor will learn the stage of the disease. Staging of the cancer will help to understand whether the cancer has spread from the area of its origin.

The treatment depends on factors like the location of the tumor, the stage of cancer and the patience’s general health and age.

Common treatment for head and neck cancer includes, radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or a combination.

Regular check-up is very important after the treatment to make sure that the cancer does not return or new cancer does not develop.

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