- oral cancer
- salivary gland cancer
- laryngeal cancer
- hypopharyngeal tumors
- nasopharyngeal cancer
- tumors of the oropharynx
- tumors of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses
Causes and Risk Factors for Head and Neck CancerRisk factors for head and neck cancer vary among the different types, but we know that tobacco use and alcohol consumption are the most significant risk. An estimated 85% of head and neck cancer diagnoses are related to alcohol and tobacco use.
Other risk factors for head and neck cancer include:
- HPV infection
- asbestos exposure
- excessive, unprotected sun exposure
- prior radiation therapy treatments to the head and neck
- Espstein Barr virus infection
- wood or nickel dust inhalation
Symptoms of Head and Neck CancerSymptoms of head and neck cancer vary, depending on the type of head and neck cancer. A broad spectrum of head and neck cancer symptoms may include:
- chronic sinus infections that do not respond to treatment
- difficulty or pain when swallowing
- voice changes or hoarseness
- general pain in the neck, throat, jaw, or chin that does not go away
- ear pain, ringing in the ears, or trouble hearing
- sore, blister, or other lesion in or on the mouth that does not heal
Diagnosing Head and Neck CancerHow head and neck cancer is diagnosed depends on what type of cancer is suspected. Lab tests, imaging tests, biopsies, and endoscopies are all methods of diagnosing many types of cancer.
Once cancer is confirmed, the stage of the cancer is then determined and a treatment plan is developed.
Head and Neck Cancer TreatmentTreatment for head and neck cancer depends on the type of cancer, stage, and other general health factors. Common methods of treating head and neck cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
Head and Neck Cancer PreventionSince we know that tobacco and alcohol use are strongly linked to head and neck cancer, avoiding both is one of our best prevention defenses. Each is a risk factor for head neck cancer, but use of both greatly increases the risk.
- 5 Key Reasons to Quit Smoking
- How to Prepare to Quit Smoking
- How Can I Tell If I Have a Drinking Problem?
How Often Should I Get a Dental Check-up?
- 10 Reasons to Have a Dental Cleaning
- How to Floss Under Dental Bridges
"What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer". Cancer Topics. National Cancer Society: What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer. 09 Sptember 2004. Accessed 18 July 2008.