What you need to know about head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer usually begins on a damp surface that lines the mouth, throat, and nose.

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head and neck cancer

Dr. Kathryn Gold is an oncologist specializing in head and neck and lung cancer treatment at the University of California San Diego Gomer Cancer Center. He is a clinical researcher whose research is focused on developing new ways to treat cancer.

What is head and neck cancer?

Head and neck cancer usually begins on a damp surface that lines the mouth, throat, and nose. Most of them are called squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma originates from squamous cells, which form a thin layer of tissue on the surface of the head and neck structures. Other rare cancers can occur in the salivary glands or in the skin of the head and neck. This publication is directed primarily to squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

What causes head and neck cancer?

Drinking alcohol and using cigarettes increases the risk of head and neck cancer. The use of all forms of tobacco, including tobacco, pipes, chewing tobacco, and tobacco increases the risk of developing this type of cancer. The risk of head and neck cancer increases with age. Most of these cancers occur in people over 45 years of age. This cancer is more common in men than in women.

Some head and neck cancers are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV). The same virus that causes cervical cancer and other cancers. Head and neck tumors caused by HPV usually have a better prognosis than non-viral tumors. The probability of recovery is called prediction.

One of the best things a person can do to reduce the risk of head and neck cancer is to stop using all tobacco products. Avoiding too much alcohol also reduces risk. The HPV vaccine prevents HPV strains that cause some head and neck cancer. The HPV vaccine is most effective when given before exposure to HPV. Today, vaccination is recommended for many children, adolescents and teens. Good dental hygiene reduces the risk of head and neck cancer.

What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?

Symptoms of head and neck cancer include:

  • Sw hard to swallow.
  • Sore throat.
  • Voice changes.
  • Unbelievable pain.
  • The lump in the neck.

Other less serious conditions can also cause these symptoms. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about new symptoms.

How are different types of head and neck cancer diagnosed and classified?

If a doctor suspects head and neck cancer, the first step is to undergo a thorough physical examination by focusing on the head and neck area. However, the diagnosis of this type of cancer can only be confirmed by examining the tissue sample under the microscope. This tissue sample is removed in a biopsy.

Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) are commonly used to identify a number of diseases known as stages. Knowing the stage of cancer can help the medical team make treatment plans. Most head and neck cancer are classified using the TNM system.

  • T refers to T-main Umor. Where it is and if it breaks into other structures or sizes. Stages of T vary from T0 to T4, with higher numbers representing larger and more aggressive tumors.
  • N ga N refers to lymph nodes. If lymph nodes are involved, specify the number of lymph nodes, the size of the lymph nodes, and the lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck. Step N continues from N0 to N3. N0 means the lymph nodes are not involved, and in large numbers, the disease spreads to the lymph nodes.
  • Met M Specifies metastases. Cancers spread somewhere outside the head and neck area. M0 means there are no signs of cancer spread. M1 is spread elsewhere.

Parts of the TNM system are combined into a single-stage group used to describe cancer.

How is head and neck cancer treated?

Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy can be used to treat head and neck cancer. Often, many types of therapy are used together. For example, radiation therapy or radiation therapy with chemotherapy is followed by surgery. Treatment of neck and head cancer often requires a team of doctors and other specialists, including dieticians / dieticians and speech pathologists.

What are the side effects of head and neck cancer treatment?

Different treatments for head and neck cancer can lead to different side effects. If radiation therapy is recommended, frequent side effects include fatigue, weight loss, and pain during swallowing. Side effects of chemotherapy include nausea, low blood counts and altered taste. Some of these side effects, such as nausea, usually go away relatively quickly at the end of treatment. Other side effects, such as fatigue and discomfort when swallowing, may take longer to improve. Some side effects can be permanent.

It is important to have an experienced medical team in the treatment of this type of cancer. Many health professionals, including dieticians, speech pathologists, speech pathologists, dentists and dental hygienists, play an important role in treating short- and long-term side effects. Counselors and support groups can also help. Rehabilitation is important to the recovery process.