Head and Neck Cancer

What is Head and Neck Cancer?

Cancer is a stage when carcinoma cells begin to grow in an uncontrolled manner. They form a mass that is called as tumor. The most dangerous property of a cancerous cell is that it grows and spread...

Symptoms

People with Head and Neck Cancer often experience the following symptoms or signs.

  1. Swelling or sore that does not heal; this is the most common symptom
  2. Red or white patch in the mouth
  3. Lump, bump, or mass in the head or neck area, with or without pain
  4. Persistent sore throat
  5. Foul mouth odor not explained by hygiene
  6. Hoarseness or change in voice
  7. Nasal obstruction or persistent nasal congestion
  8. Frequent nose bleeds and/or unusual nasal discharge

Causes

Alcohol and tobacco use (including smokeless tobacco, sometimes called “chewing tobacco” or “snuff”) are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers, especially cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx. Following are the causes of Head and Neck Cancer:

  1. Paan (betel quid)
  2. Preserved or salted foods
  3. Oral Health
  4. Occupational exposure to wood dust, asbestos and synthetic fibers
  5. Radiation exposure

Risks

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. The 2 substances that greatly increase the risk of developing a head and neck cancer are tobacco and alcohol.

Prolonged sun exposure, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and Ebstein's- Barr Virus(EBV) are other risl factors for head and neck cancer.

Prevention

People who are at risk of head and neck cancers―particularly those who use tobacco―should talk with their doctor about ways that they may be able to reduce their risk. They should also discuss with their doctor how often to have checkups. In addition, ongoing clinical trials are testing the effectiveness of various medications in preventing head and neck cancers in people who have a high risk of developing these diseases.

How is it diagnosed?

Doctors use many tests to diagnose cancer. They also conduct tests to learn if cancer has spread to another part of the body. For most types of cancer, a biopsy is the only sure way for the doctor ...

How is it treated?

Many cancers of the head and neck can be cured, especially if they are found early. Although eliminating the cancer is the primary goal of treatment, preserving the function of the nearby nerves, organs, and tissues is also very important. When pl..

  • Radiation Therapy

    Radiation Therapy is the use of high-energy X-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells. A radiation therapy schedule usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time. The most common type of radiation therapy is called external-beam radiation therapy, example- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT).

  • Chemotherapy

    It is the use of drugs to cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cell's ability to grow and divide. A chemotherapy schedule usually consists of a specific number of cycles given over a set period of time.

  • Targeted Therapy

    It is a treatment that targets the cancer's specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells while limiting the damage to healthy cells.

When do I contact the doctor?

People who are at risk of head and neck cancers―particularly those who use tobacco―should talk with their doctor about ways that they may be able to reduce their risk. They should also discuss with their doctor how often to have checkups. Early diagnosis and treatment may stop progression of head and neck cancer and help containing further complications.

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Medanta Cancer Institute is a comprehensive Institute with a mission to provide ‘Holistic Care’ to patients. A team of highly qualified and dedicated doctors is supported by a cutting edge technology to add years with a good Quality of Life (Q..

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