Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Spotlight on Health
Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month Photo

Men are twice more likely to develop these forms of cancer, and an estimated 75 percent of cases link to tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco. In some cases, heavy alcohol use or HPV is a considerable risk factor too. Treatment options can vary, but if caught early, these cancers are often curable.

Where Does Head and Neck Cancers Begin?

These cancers can often start in the sinuses, the roof of the mouth or gum area, the back of the mouth and throat, behind the nose, and in rare cases in the glands that create saliva.

Symptoms Common With Head and Neck Cancers

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where the cancer is located controls the symptoms. The first sign of mouth cancer is often a sore that does not heal, swelling, or unusual pain. Some may experience a lump or thickening or problems with their dentures.

Symptoms may also include feeling like something is stuck in the throat, pain or ringing in the ears, or trouble breathing and swallowing may present when located in the back of the mouth (pharynx).

Voicebox cancer often leads to pain when swallowing and ear pain.

When cancer is present in the sinus or nasal cavity, constant sinus issues may occur. Symptoms can include:

    Persistent blockages in the sinuses or infections that won't clear
      Nose bleeds
        Headaches
          Pain the upper teeth

        Diagnosis and Treatment Options

        If it's suspected that you may be dealing with cancer of the head and neck, your doctor will first do a physical exam. From there, a CT or MRI scan might be needed for further diagnosis. However, the earlier it's diagnosed, the more treatment options there may be.

        To reduce your risk of head and neck cancer, avoid or quit smoking, including smokeless tobacco products. Also, limit your alcohol use, visit your dentist regularly, and talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccination. It prevents new infections of the types of HPV that may cause specific forms of mouth cancer.

        Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in New York

        The doctors here at NYCBS are here for you every step of the way through your cancer journey. Our cancer specialists can provide you with comprehensive care to help from diagnosis to remission. Let's conquer cancer together! Please visit our website or give us a call at (855) 528-7322 to learn more.