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HEAD & NECK CANCER

Patient Testimonials

  • Head & Neck Cancer

    59 years old male patient from Rajasthan, IMPACT sponsored his TEP valve and later also gave him an electrolarynx free of cost. Operated in Jan. 2005.

    - Rajasthan

  • Head & Neck Cancer

    A 51 years old gentleman, working at a railway crossing near Viramgam, Gujarat, IMPACT sponsored his TEP Prosthesis in December 2003.

    - Viramgaam

What is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer?

  • Cancer that arises in the head or neck region, including the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid glands, salivary glands, throat, or larynx (voice box).
  • The sixth-most-common form of cancer in the world.
  • Over 2,00,000 cases (including thyroid) diagnosed annually in India

FAQS

What is included in Head and Neck Cancer?

Head and neck cancers include cancers of the following areas:

  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Voice Box
  • Skin
  • Sinuses
  • Saliva glands
  • Thyroid gland

Head and neck cancers represent the sixth most common form of cancer in the United States without including skin or thyroid cancers. There are more than 50,000 cases diagnosed annually and over 12,000 deaths.(American Cancer Society, 2009) Research has shown that many people do not understand where these cancers are, what causes them, and how they are diagnosed. In fact, there may be a lack of knowledge among your health care professionals including physicians and dentists about this disease.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of the Wide Variety of Head and Neck Cancers?

An early indication of cancer is often no sign or symptom. However, once a cancer is visible to humans or grows into other tissues, it may begin to cause other visible signs or physical symptoms. Signs and symptoms may include:

MOUTH (ORAL) CANCER
  • A sore in your mouth that doesn't heal or increases in size
  • Persistent pain in your mouth
  • White or red patches inside your mouth or on the tongue
  • Thickening of your cheek
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue
  • Difficulty moving your jaw, or swelling or pain in your jaw
  • Soreness in your throat or feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Pain around your teeth, or loosening of your teeth
  • Numbness of your tongue or elsewhere in your mouth
  • A lump in your neck
  • Loose dentures or change in fitting of dentures
  • Bad breath
THROAT (PHARYNX) CANCER
  • A sore in your mouth that doesn't heal or increases in size
  • Sore throat, swallowing pain or earache
  • Bleeding from mouth or throat
  • Persistent pain in your mouth
  • Lumps or white or red areas on your palate or tonsil
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue
  • Difficulty moving your jaw, or swelling or pain in your jaw
  • Soreness in your throat or feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Pain around your teeth, or loosening of your teeth
  • Numbness of your tongue or elsewhere in your mouth
  • A lump in your neck
  • Bad breath
VOICE BOX (LARYNX) CANCER
  • Changes in your voice
  • Sore throat, swallowing pain or earache
  • Bleeding from mouth or throat
  • Persistent pain in your mouth
  • Lumps or white or red areas on your palate or tonsil
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue
  • Difficulty moving your jaw, or swelling or pain in your jaw
  • Soreness in your throat or feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • A lump in your neck
  • Bad breath
  • Trouble breathing or coughing up blood
SKIN CANCER (Melanoma, Squamous Cell, Basal Cell)
  • Red, white, or brown spot on skin that grows, changes, or bleeds
  • A lump or pimple that does not go away
  • Numbness of the skin
  • Paralysis of the face
  • A scaly area or change in texture of skin that does not go away
  • A lump in your neck
THYROID CANCER
  • A growth or swelling of the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in your voice
  • A lump in your neck
  • A scaly area or change in texture of skin that does not go away
  • A lump in your neck
SINUS OR NOSE CANCER
  • Swelling of the gums, cheek or eyes
  • Loose dentures
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Numbness of the skin
  • Paralysis of the face
  • A lump in your neck
Are Screenings Painful?

The screenings typically last about five minutes, are non-invasive and painless.

Where can I get a screening?

Dentists, doctors, and other health professionals generally offer screenings for oral, head and neck cancer. Free screenings are also offered nationwide during Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week in April, and at various other events throughout the year.

Can a healthy diet help prevent head and neck cancer?

A nutritious, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing head and neck cancer.

Does smoking cause head and neck cancer?

Tobacco (including smokeless tobacco) and alcohol use are the most important risk factors for head and neck cancers, particularly those of the tongue, mouth, throat and voice box. Eighty-five percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use. People who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk for developing these cancers than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

Can drinking alcohol increase the risk of head and neck cancer?

See above answer on smoking.

Is there a link between oral sex and head and neck cancer?

Over the past decade, an increasing number of young, non-smokers have developed mouth and throat cancer associated with the human-papillomavirus, or HPV. Today, 25 percent – 10,000 cases each year – might be attributable to a strain of HPV. Physicians and researchers believe this might be due to an increase in oral sex as part of early sexual experience.

What causes Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancers can develop in anyone, although there often is a family history or exposure to radiation or x-rays. Salivary gland cancers also do not seem to be associated with any particular cause.