Head & Neck Cancer & Its Treatment
Head and neck cancer is any cancer that appears in the head or neck region, including the nasal cavity, sinuses, face, lip, mouth, salivary glands, throat, larynx or thyroid. According to the National Cancer Institute, head and neck cancers account for approximately 3% to 5% of all cancers in the United States.
Head and neck cancers are more common in men and in people over age 50. It is estimated that about 40,000 men and women in this country will develop head and neck cancer this year.
The Most Common Symptoms of Head & Neck Cancer:
- difficulty swallowing
- sore throat or painful swallowing
- ear pain
- weight loss
- coughing (especially with blood)
- neck mass
- non-healing mouth sore
The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer and the person’s age and general health. We consider treatment options carefully. Our board-certified otolaryngologists will discuss each type of treatment and how it might affect the patient.
Your surgeon may remove the cancer and some of the healthy tissue around it. Lymph nodes in the neck may also be removed (lymph node dissection) if the doctor suspects that the cancer has spread. Radiation therapy is an option used to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy, also called anticancer drugs, is another option. This treatment is used to kill cancer cells throughout the body.