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Head & Neck Cancer



The term head and neck cancers refers to a group of cancers found in the head and neck region. This includes tumors found in the oral cavity (mouth), the oropharynx (which includes the back one-third of the tongue, the back of the throat and the tonsils); nasopharynx (which includes the area behind the nose); the hypopharynx (lower part of the throat) and the larynx (voice box, located in front of the neck,

The most frequently occurring cancers of the head and neck area are oral cancers and laryngeal cancers. Almost half of all the head and neck cancers occur in the oral cavity, and a third of the cancers are found in the larynx. By definition, the term "head and neck cancers" usually excludes tumors that occur in the brain.

Risk factors vary according to the type of head or neck cancer, but tobacco and alcohol use are strongly linked to the development of any of these type of cancers.

Cancers of the head and neck can be particularly aggressive. Early detection is critical to preventing fatal outcomes. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Lump or sore that does not heal
  • Sore throat that does not go away
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Change or hoarseness in the voice
  • Coughing up blood
  • Changes in the skin around the forehead, face and ears
  • Persistent ear ache.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you should contact our office immediately and schedule an exam. Further screening tests may be prescribed based upon the type of cancer suspected. The most common treatment options for head and neck cancer is surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

 

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