Head and Neck Cancer
If detected early, head and neck cancers are curable. Fortunately, the majority of them cause early symptoms. You should be aware of the potential warning signs so that you can notify your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is critical for the successful treatment of head and neck cancer. Knowing and recognising its warning signs can help you save your life.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Head & Neck Cancer?
Among the symptoms of head and neck cancer are:
-A lump in the throat
-Development in the mouth
-Bringing up the subject of blood Swallowing issues
What Is the Cause of Head and Neck Cancer?
Long-term exposure to specific risk factors, such as tobacco use (e.g., cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or snuff), excessive alcohol abuse, or HPV exposure, causes head and neck cancers. Prolonged sun exposure can cause lip cancer, which is also a major cause of skin cancer.
What Treatment Options Are There?
Treatment options are determined by a number of factors, including the stage of disease, the type and location of the tumour, and the patient’s overall health. Cancer treatment options are best discussed in a multidisciplinary setting with the surgeon, radiation oncologist, oncologist, pathologist, radiologist, speech and swallowing experts, and the patient and caregivers. Among the treatment options are:
Surgery – Cancer surgery aims to remove cancerous tissue as well as a ring of normal tissue around it. Lymph nodes in the neck may also be removed during surgery. If the cancer is widespread and necessitates extensive tissue removal, reconstructive plastic surgery may be required. Surgery on the tongue, jawbone, facial skin, pharynx, or larynx may be among them. In such cases, tissue from other parts of the body, such as the forearm or leg, can be transplanted to provide patients with the best cosmetic and functional outcomes.
Radiation therapy—Use of high-energy X-rays to halt the growth of cancer cells and kill them. Radiation can be used as a stand-alone treatment or after surgery with or without chemotherapy, depending on the type and stage of cancer. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a type of radiation therapy that focuses radiation beams on the tumour while minimising damage to surrounding healthy cells.
Systemic therapy—The most common type of systemic therapy is chemotherapy, which destroys cancer cells through the bloodstream using a single drug or a combination of drugs. Chemotherapy is frequently used in conjunction with radiation therapy, either concurrently as primary treatment or as a supplemental treatment after surgery. These medications are administered in fixed doses determined by a medical oncologist who monitors treatment response and potential adverse reactions.
Immunotherapy strengthens the body’s immune system and aids in the fight against cancer cells. This rapidly expanding field of treatment options has shown promise in patients with recurrent or widely spread cancers (metastatic). FDA-approved immunotherapeutic drugs for head and neck cancers include pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) and nivolumab (OPDIVO®).