Head and Neck Cancer: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Head and Neck Cancer: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment


Head and neck cancer is a cancer of a broad range that the mouth, throat, salivary glands, sinuses, and other parts of the neck and head. The majority of head and neck cancers begin in squamous cells - thin, flat cells that line the outer layer of the skin, and inside of the nose, mouth, and throat.

Human papillomavirus, tobacco smoking, and alcohol consumption are significant risk factors for head and neck cancer. Visit the leading cancer research center in Siliguri and see the top oncologist in Siliguri. Early diagnosis and treatment can help treat head and neck cancer more promisingly.

As per data, head and neck cancer is the seventh most common cancer worldwide. In 2020, an estimated 562,328 people were diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck. An estimated 277,597 people died from it in 2020 globally.

Overview of head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer starts in the cells lining your mouth, throat(pharynx),or voice box (larynx) - called squamous cells. However, head and neck cancers in your sinuses and salivary glands are less common.

Knowing the signs associated head and neck cancer

Symptoms may differ depending on the cancer location.

Cancer in the mouth and throat

  • The presence of a lump in the neck might be felt through the skin
  • The lump without pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • A sore in the mouth doesn’t heal with time
  • Painful swallowing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Loose teeth

Cancer in the nose:

  • Stuffy nose that persists
  • Nosebleeds

Common signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Sore throat that persists
  • Facial numbness or pain
  • Earaches that persist
  • Ear infections that persist
  • Trouble breathing
  • Voice changes
  • Pain in the neck that doesn’t heal
  • Pain when chewing
  • Frequent sinus infections that don’t heal with treatment
  • Swollen face, jaw, and neck
  • Hoarseness
  • A white-red patch seen on your gums
  • Bloody saliva

Consult your healthcare provider if you notice such signs; talk to your general physician if you’re noticing these signs (some) for the first time. Health evaluation under medical supervision is vital to appropriate diagnosis. See your oncologist at the most reputable cancer research center in Siliguri.

Knowing the possible causes of head and neck cancer

Doctors aren’t sure what exactly causes head and neck cancer. But they know changes in DNA or gene mutations make cells cancerous.

Here are some contributing factors for head and neck cancer:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals in the air
  • Exposure to HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • A weakened immune system
  • Inherited genes
  • Exposure to pesticides, asbestos, wood dust, paint fumes
  • Too much consumption of salt-curated foods
  • Periodontal disease, poor dental and oral hygiene

Insights into treatment of head and neck cancer

In order to detect head and neck cancer and its type, location, and extremity, your medical healthcare provider may order a few tests and diagnostic procedures, such as a physical exam, blood tests, medical history review, personal history of cancer, an endoscopy, head and neck CT scan, MRI, CT scans, PET scans, X-rays, biopsy (core needle biopsy and fine needle aspiration).

To treat head and neck cancer, your oncologists may suggest surgery as a primary treatment in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Further cancer therapy includes targeted therapy, immunotherapy, palliative care, etc. Visit the best cancer hospital in Siliguri for head and neck cancer treatment. Reach out to your cancer specialist to better understand treatment plans, diagnostic approaches, and cancer management.

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