Head and neck cancers refer to a group of similar cancers that start in the head and neck including lip, oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity (inside the nose), par nasal sinuses, pharynx (behind the mouth and nasal cavity) and larynx (voice box). Approximately 90 percent of head and neck cancers originate from the mucus lining within these regions. Head and neck cancers often spread to the lymph nodes of the neck if they are not caught early enough.
These types of cancers are often associated with certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking and chewing, alcohol consumption, UV light, particular chemicals used in certain workplaces, and certain strains of viruses, such as human papillomavirus (HPV).
The signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers may include a lump or a sore that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice.
Head and neck cancers can be curable if detected early, usually with surgery, although chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also play important roles. In 2012, more than 52,000 men and women were diagnosed with new head and neck cancers in the United States.
St.Vincent Cancer Care
St.Vincent Head and Neck Tumor Clinic diagnoses and treats patients with head and neck cancers using a variety of therapies, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. With the incidence of head and neck cancers continuing to increase, the physical well being and survival of head and neck cancer patients can significantly be enhanced when various disciplines and treatment options are integrated at one place.
Head and Neck cancers include:
St.Vincent has developed a dedicated inpatient unit with specially trained staff to ensure the highest quality clinical care for patients with cancers of the head and neck, and patients needing voice restoration following laryngeal cancer treatment.
For more information on head and neck cancers and St.Vincent Cancer Care, click here.