Head & Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancers are those that grow in and around the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses and mouth.
The majority of these cancers are squamous cell carcinomas that form in the cells lining the mucosal surfaces of the head and neck.
They often spread to the lymph nodes, but are highly curable if discovered early.
Head and neck cancers are classified according to the area in the body where they form. They include:
- Also known as the voicebox, this is a tube-shaped organ in the neck containing the vocal cords. It helps us speak, swallow, and breathe.
- Oral cavity. This includes the lips, tongue, gums, and mouth.
- Salivary glands. These glands produce saliva to keep food moist and help break it down.
- This hollow tube begins behind the nose and leads to the esophagus and trachea.
- Nasal cavity. These are the hollow spaces in the bones around the nose, where air passes on the way to the throat.
Other cancers can form in this part of the body (brain tumors, esophageal cancer, thyroid cancer, etc.) but these behave very differently and are not classified as heck and neck cancers.
Tongue & Mouth Cancer
Oral cancers are serious and quite common, with about 50,000 cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. Catching cancer early is highly important to effective treatment. Unfortunately many are found very late and can have high morbidity and mortality rates. Any changes in the shape, texture or color of the mouth should be brought up with your dentist or an ENT. People who smoke, vaporize or chew tobacco are at much higher risk of pre-cancerous and cancerous changes of the mouth.
Throat cancer is really a group of cancers affecting the larynx, pharynx, esophagus and/or tonsils. Common symptoms include pain, voice changes, difficulty swallowing and blood in the mucus. People who currently use (or previously used) chewing tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and vaporizers are at increased risk. When found early and treated properly, success and cure rates are very good. There are several different treatment and screening options for patients with throat cancer. Please let us help you find the right treatment and care for you and your family.
A biopsy is used to remove a portion of tissue or sample of cells from your throat, allowing our expert otolaryngology team to analyze and examine it in a laboratory using various equipment and techniques. This is a common step in achieving a diagnosis and determining what treatment plan is best for you.
Lymph Node Removal
Depending on your individual condition, your doctor may either remove one lymph node, called a biopsy or several lymph nodes, called a lymphadenectomy. These procedures are most commonly performed on patients who have cancer that is either threatening or has already spread to the lymphatic system.
Call Camino Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic at (408) 227-6300 for more information or to schedule an appointment.