Williams Cancer Institute

Head and Neck Cancer

WHAT IS HEAD AND NECK CANCER?

This will be any cancer involved in the head and neck area. Just like any other cancer. It involves the abnormal growth of malignant cells. Below we have listed a couple of the most common types of head and neck cancer:

  • Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal cancer
  • Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal cancer
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinuses cancer
  • Salivary Gland cancer

 

Causes

To this day there still is no direct cause for head and neck cancers. But scientists and physicians have found certain risk factors that can increase the probability of developing this cancer. These will be discussed next.

 

Symptoms

For cancers involving the larynx and hypopharyngeal the symptoms will include:

  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Constant sore throat
  • Pain with swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Lump near the neck

 

Risk factors

For head and neck cancers the risk factors are quite similar. Many involve infection with Epstein-Barr virus as a risk factor for developing any of these cancers. Ethnicity will play an important role, as well as these cancers, involve the respiratory tract. Certain countries have poor air quality, therefore, increasing the chances of developing one of the head and neck cancers. Smoking is another leading risk factor that contributes to the development of these cancers.

Prevention

Although there is no absolute way of preventing cancer, getting routine check-ups and screenings will help in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Partaking in daily physical activity, eating wholesome balanced nutrition, and managing stress are some other simple ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and minimize the risks of cancer attacking the body.

For some head and neck cancers, the HPV vaccine may be preventive. At Williams Cancer Institute, we offer treatments of head and neck cancer with direct injection of immunotherapy into the tumors.

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