Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancers involve cancers in the larynx, throat, lips, mouth, nose, and salivary glands. Increase the risk of head and neck cancers of Tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and infection with human papillomavirus (HPV).

Head and neck cancer treatment based on the type, location and size of your cancer. Therapy for head and neck cancers often involves surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Treatments may be combined.

Subsequently treatment, improvement from head and neck cancers may includes working with restoration specialists and other experts to endure with adverse reaction, such as loss of hearing, eating difficulty, dental problems, thyroid issues, difficulty breathing or difficulty speaking.

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Head and neck cancers are the 6th most prevalent categorized carcinoma in the worldwide, elucidate for 6% of all tumors. Head and neck cancer are ultimately occurred in squamous cell that produced in the upper part of the throat.

Thus leads to cause serious adverse effects. This may begin independently in an advanced stage and broadly occurred in older men. Squamous cells are lining under the surface of mouth, nose, throat and salivary glands.


The following types of head and neck cancer are includes as; Larynx Pharynx Nasal cavity & Paranasal sinuses Salivary gland Oral cavity

Cancer present in eye, brain, scalp, muscles, and skin along with bone & blood which is present in this region are not designed as head and neck cancers.

Head & neck carcinoma is majorly occurs in squamous epithelial cells (flat cells that edges the moist, mucus membranes). A Cancer cell that grows afterwards of this layer into broad tissue is known as invasive squamous cell carcinoma.

Head & Neck Cancer Anatomy

Head and neck cancer is described as;

Oral cavity

Lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, mouth, hard palate & small portion of the gum present backside of wisdom teeth.


Three types of cancers in pharynx, including nasopharynx, oropharynx & hypopharynx.


Vocal cords

Paranasal sinuses & nasal cavity

Occurs in the bone of head present around the nose

Salivary glands

Occurs in floor of the mouth and present near the jaw bone.

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Universally, HNC accounts for almost 550,000 cases annually in the time and year of Fitzmaurice et al., 2017; Thompson, 2014. In the USA, about 3% of all cancers are HNC, with around 63,000 Americans growing with head and neck malignancies annually. Overall, HNC is most generally seen in men than in women in American Cancer Society, 2017a. U.S. Global wise, the extent of HNC in the United States has been deny, apparently due to a decreased predominance of cigarette smoking among adults. However, over the past few decades, there has been a rise in HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers at American Cancer Society, 2016a; and Chaturvedi et al., 2011.

The proportion of oropharyngeal cancers evaluating positive for HPV is now about 70% at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017; Chaturvedi et al., 2011, that is a substantial increase from previous rates in Mehanna et al., 2012. According to U.S. surveillance report in 2008–2012 (Viens et al., 2016), an predicted 15,738 HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell cancers are diagnosed annually, the plurality of which (12,638) were reported in males.






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Head & Neck Cancer symptoms

The signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers may involves a tumor or a sore which does not heal, a pharyngitis that does not go away, swallowing difficulty, and voice hoarseness. These symptoms may also be caused by other, less severe conditions. It is necessary to check with a doctor or dentist about any of these symptoms. Symptoms that may affect essential areas of the head and neck include the following:

Loss of weight, Pain in ear, Breathing trouble, Constant coughing
Congestion of nasal & stuffiness occurs, Pain occurs in above & below the eye, Blockage in nose, Bleeding in nose, Numbness, Sense of smell losing, Watery eye, Vision blurred, Pain in ears
Facial numbness, Fluid expelling from ear, Muscles weakness
White or red patches on gums, tongue, or mouth, Difficult in moving jaws and tongue, Numbness of tongue, Loss of weight, Bad breath
Loss of hearing, Ear infections, Headache, Facial pain, Difficult to open the mouth, Bleeding in nose, Blurred vision


Alcohol drinking & tobacco usage is the major risk factor for all type of cancer.Other factors like;

Preceding infection conditions

Most of the head and neck cancer is related to human papilloma virus. The Epstein Barr virus is also one of the viruses responsible for head and neck cancer.

Genetic defects

It is one of the major risk factor responsible for nasopharyngeal & salivary gland cancer


All of head and neck cancer are occurred mostly in men rather than women.

Nutrition depletion

Excessive vitamin deficiencies caused by intake of excessive alcohol. Salted food is also responsible for head and neck cancer.

Oral hygiene

Radiation: Long term exposure of radiation.

Head & Neck Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnosis of head & neck cancer is occurred by undergoing

  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy
  • PET scan


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that healthcare providers use to diagnose medical conditions. MRI adoption is a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. MRI does not need ionizing radiation (x-rays) Presently , MRI is the mainly give keen imaging test of the head (particularly the brain) in routine clinical practice.

CT scan

Computed tomography, most usually known as a CT or CAT scan, is a diagnostic medical test which is like established x-rays, produces various images or pictures of the inside of the body. During a CT scan the cross-sectional images is generated can be reformatted in multiple planes, and can even achieve three-dimensional images. These images can be appears on a computer monitor, printed on film or by a 3D printer, or transferred to a CD or DVD.

CT images of internal body organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels contribute greater detail than traditional x-rays, exceptionally of soft tissues and blood vessels. CT scanning contribute more detailed information on head injuries, stroke, brain tumors and other brain diseases than regular radiographs (x-rays).


An endoscope to investigate the nasal cavity, voice box and throat. With the aid of topical anesthesia, the tube is infused into the mouth or nose to produce pictures and estimate the abnormal cells.

PET scan

This nuclear drug exam couple of positron emission tomography (PET) and CT scans to establish images that define the anatomic location of abnormal metabolic activity. It can identify head and neck cancer, regulate if it has spread, appraise the potency of a treatment plan and determine if the cancer has restored after treatment. DNA analysis



There many ways to cause different types of cancer. Even though there is no proven way to entirely prevent this disease. It can be able to lower the risk.

• Stopping usage of tobacco products
• Avoiding alcohol
• Avoiding marijuana use
• Using sunscreen regularly

Decreasing your risk of HPV infection by getting the HPV vaccine or by limiting your number of sexual partners, As having many partners leads to the risk of HPV infection. while using a condom during sex cannot fully protect you from HPV. Control proper care of dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can trap tobacco and alcohol’s cancer-causing substances.. Dentures should be evacuated every night and cleaned and rinsed thoroughly every day.

Head And Neck Cancer Treatment

Surgery includes cutting off all part of cancer by an operation. It most common treatment in all cancer.

It is a treatment which used as an injection through veins or as tablet or capsules

It is used by high energy rays to treat like X-rays

Targeted therapy
It interfere with the way cells grow and divide

Reconstructive or plastic surgery
Immuno therapy


The most commonly used medication for head and neck cancer

Bleomycin, Carboplatin, Docetaxel – mitotic inhibitors, Fluorouracil, Paclitaxel, Cetuximab – EFGR inhibitor

Cisplatin, Doxorubicin, Methotrexate, Nivolumab – Anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, Pembrolizumab - Anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody


Follow up is very important after head and neck cancer treatment to make sure that the cancer has not relapsed or which changes of second pimary cancer has not occurred. Based on different types of cancer, medical checkups may involved exams of stoma. Regular dental exams to be done.