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Head and Neck Cancers

Head and Neck Cancers

Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in Huntsville Alabama and Other Locations

Head and Neck Cancers

Head and neck cancers account for about 3% of cancer diagnoses in the U.S. Head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells located in the mucosal lining in the mouth nose and throat. They are categorized by where the cancer began, such as the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, or the salivary glands.

The following are signs and symptoms associated with many of the head and neck cancers. Many of these symptoms may not be cancer, but might be related to other healthcare issues. Consult your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following:

  • Sore throat that won’t heal
  • Lump in the head/neck area
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Persistent nasal congestion
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness in the voice
  • White or red patch on the gums, tongue, or ling of the mouth
  • Unusual bleeding in the mouth
  • Trouble breathing or speaking
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bad breath not caused by hygiene
  • Problems with dentures no longer fitting
  • Swelling under the chin or around the jawbone
  • Paralysis of muscles in the face

There are several risk factors associated with head and neck cancers. While some of these may not be due to cancer, they could be related to other health related issues. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • HPV
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Age
  • Race
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Exposure to asbestos, wood dust, and paint fumes
  • Diet low in Vitamins A and B
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD)

Head and neck cancers can be detected with a physical exam and certain diagnostic tests. Your healthcare provider may use one or more of the following diagnostic tests to identify head and neck cancers:

  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • Endoscopy
  • Tissue biopsy
  • Ultrasound
  • CT or CAT scan
  • MRI
  • Bone scan
  • PET scan

Once the cancer has been diagnosed, your healthcare provider will discuss your treatment options. Treatment plans vary for each patient depending on the type of head and neck cancer, its location and stage, and the health of the individual. Your healthcare provider may use one or more of the following treatment options: