Head & Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer are the world’s No 7 most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Every year, more than 660,000 new cases are diagnosed and 325,000 die from it.
Head and neck cancer is complex to diagnose because it can affect different parts of the head and neck
Malignant tumours can occur anywhere among these:
Congestion, pain and bleeding, loss of smell
Ulcers, white patches
Pain, difficulty with swallowing, hoarseness, swelling in tonsils
Swelling, difficulty with swallowing, lump in the neck
Hearing loss, tinnitus, ear blockage, discharge both foul-smelling or odourless, facial weakness
Symptoms don’t necessarily indicate cancer so it’s recommended to consult an ENT specialist to determine the cause of discomfort.
Head and neck cancer is more common among men than women. It also affects more people aged 50 and older.
Mouth, throat and voice box are the more common forms of head and neck cancer, while paranasal, nasal cavity and salivary gland occur less frequently.
So do the following:
During a consultation, your ENT specialist will discuss your medical history and symptoms, after which a physical examination will be done to assess any masses and swollen lymph nodes, as well as nose, mouth, tongue, throat and gums.
Other follow-up tests may involve the following:
This depends on the severity of your cancer, age, and health condition. Options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of treatments.
Head and neck cancer is generally considered treatable and curable. The 5-year survival rate of patients with head and neck cancer is nearly 60%.