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Head & Neck Cancer - Facts You Might Not Know!

Written and reviewed by
M.Ch, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA, Baroda Medical College, Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute
Oncologist, Ahmedabad  •  15 years experience
Head & Neck Cancer - Facts You Might Not Know!

Head & Neck Cancer refers to a term used for defining cancer that develops in the mouth, throat, salivary glands, nose or in other areas of the head and neck. This cancer begins in the lining of the mouth, nose and throat. The following are some facts that would help us understand other details related to Head Neck Cancer: 

Fact 1 -  Lump in the throat, Sores in the mouth or the jaw getting swollen and changes in voice are some symptoms of Cancer in Head & Neck.

People suffering from Head Neck Cancer might manage to discover tumors in the pharynx as a lump inside the throat. Then, cancer in the mouth might cause sores in the mouth or lead to the swelling of the jaw. These tumors can even result in voice change among affected people.

Fact 2 - Laryngeal Cancer, Nasopharyngeal Cancer and Oral Cancer are the different types of Head Neck Cancer.

There are different types of Head Neck Cancer. They include the likes of Laryngeal Cancer, which is found in the larynx that is located at the top of the windpipe. It is one of the most common types of head neck cancer. Another type is the Nasopharyngeal Cancer. It develops when cancer cells tend to grow in the nasopharynx. Oral Cancer develops in the mouth, which can develop from poor oral hygiene.

Fact 3 - Consumption of alcohol and smoking tobacco leads to the occurrence of Head Neck Cancer.

This is because alcohol consumption and use of tobacco happen to be a couple of high-risk factors that result in people suffering from different types of Head Neck Cancer.

Fact 4 - Endoscopy & Panendoscopy are ways to diagnose the types of Head Neck Cancer?

Doctors would usually conduct different procedures to diagnose Head Neck Cancer. They include the likes of Endoscopy and panendoscopy. Apart from these, there are other procedures as well. They are Biopsy, Barium Swallow, X-rays and Imaging Tests.

Fact 5 - Different options to treat Head & Neck cancer are - 

Immunotherapy is one option where drugs like checkpoint inhibitors help the body’s immune system to identify and kill tumour cells. Then there are targeted therapies, which help to prevent the growth and spread of cancer by attacking particular proteins and hence prevent the cancer cells from getting spread. Chemotherapy treatments are mainly reserved for those, whose cancer has spread on to their bones and other parts of
the body.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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