Head & Neck Cancer
HNC 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.
HNC 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 HNC, 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.
HNC is generally considered treatable and curable. The 5-year survival rate of patients with HNC is nearly 60%.