Neck Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Options
is a very frustrating disease since it can affect virtually any part of the body with devastating
results. Two areas in particular in which cancer cells can
originate and grow are the head and neck. Cancer may also develop
in these areas when cancer has spread from other parts of the body.
Like most other forms of cancer, the best opportunity to effectively treat this very serious disease is to
diagnose it in the earliest possible stage. So it’s very important
to understand and identify the key head and neck cancer symptoms.
Let’s understand this further.
The head and
neck areas of the body are generic terms which can mean almost thirty different areas. Any of them can become affected by cancer.
most affected by head and neck cancer tend to be heavy users of tobacco and alcohol. It can also affect people who have been exposed to dangerous chemicals and
fumes. And certain viruses can increase the risk factor for
developing head and neck cancer.
Cancer of the
mouth or oral cancer occurs when cancer cells are present in the roof of the mouth; floor of the mouth; tongue;
inside lining of the cheeks and lips; walls of the throat; and gums.
The kinds of symptoms to look for in this area include the following:
Unexplained loss of
Pain or difficulty in
Problems with speech
An unusual taste in the
A lump in the mouth which won’t go
Bleeding in the mouth
Swelling in the jaw
Persistent bad breath
If the cancer forms or spreads to the area of
the throat, it can cause the following important symptoms:
For cancer which may form and grow in the
nose, look for these symptoms:
Blocked nasal passages
Sinus infections which don’t get
Bleeding of the nose
Persistent headaches or
Sense of smell is
This type of cancer can
also affect the salivary gland. If this occurs, be alert to a
swollen jaw or chin; numbness of facial muscles; and pain in the chin or face.
And cancer can affect
the neck in the following ways:
Enlarged or swollen lymph
A heavy feeling around the
General neck or throat
If any of these symptoms
occur, you are encouraged to seek medical attention to get them checked out and hopefully identify any cancer in
the earliest possible stages. This is why understanding head and
neck cancer symptoms are so important.
In order to
properly diagnose the presence of cancer, a variety of imaging and physical exams may be
required. Often x-rays are taken of the affected
areas. And a biopsy is usually obtained so that a pathologist
can test for the presence of cancer cells.
If a positive
diagnosis is made, there are many treatment options which may be employed. The specific course of treatment will depend on the type of head and neck
cancer, its stages and the health of the patient.
the most common form of treatment since the objective is to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as
possible. Radiation of chemotherapy may also be employed to shrink
the tumor and kill off as many stray cancer cells as possible. Even
a few remaining cancer cells has the potential to cause a recurrence of cancer in the future so doctors do their
best to remove it all.