Head and Neck Cancer

head and neck cancerBy definition, the term "head and neck cancers" usually excludes tumors that occur in the eye or brain.

Risk factors vary according to the type of head and neck cancer, but tobacco and alcohol use are strongly linked to the development of most cancers. Human papillomavirus (HPV) can also infect the mouth and throat and cause cancers of the oropharynx, called oropharyngeal cancer. HPV is thought to cause 70% of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States.

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:
  • Ulcers or sores in the mouth that do not heal
  • Sore throat that does not go away
  • Difficulty or pain with swallowing
  • Change or hoarseness of the voice
  • Coughing up blood
  • Persistent earache
  • Enlarging or persistent neck masses

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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