Health Tips For Head and Neck Cancer

Examples of head and neck cancer include tongue cancer, jaw, cancer, cancer of the Voicebox cancer of the sinuses. Really any part of the head and neck can be a potential site for a cancer cause is not necessarily the best word to use for really any kind of cancer. We typically like to characterize them by risk factors, and the reason is that, if someone does action a it does not always lead to cancer, and if someone does not do action, a it doesn't mean that they will not get cancer but typically for head and neck Cancers, the major risk factors that we discuss are tobacco, alcohol and the synergistic effect of tobacco and alcohol, whether it be chewing tobacco, smoking, chronic alcoholism and one of the things we always recommend to our patients is to stop doing these things.



We know nowadays that smoking and tobacco usage is a very, very large risk factor for not just head and neck cancer, but lung cancer as well. The same has been shown for alcohol as well, and nowadays also, we've also found that, with certain cancers of the head and neck, the human papilloma virus as well can be a risk factor. [, Music, ] anytime, that you begin developing a symptom or some kind of finding that wasn't quite there before. I always tell people to have a very low threshold to go, see your physician and again, depending on the part of your head or neck.

That'S involved by the cancer. The symptoms could be entirely different for many times or for many people. Rather, they may develop some lumps and bumps in the neck enlarged lymph nodes, for example, for some people they may develop sores on the tongue. If maybe they have an early tongue cancer or a sore inside the mouth, that just quite won't go away for some folks that have Voicebox cancers, they may notice that swallowing is a little bit different.

Their voice is hoarse and it's more than just a common cold. As with any cancer, if the cancers are caught at earlier stages and we can intervene quicker, then patients will do better and the the survival and the outcomes will be much greater and typically like any other cancer. I think the earlier you recognize the earlier. You move forward with treatment.

Patients will do better now. As far as prognosis goes, my personal philosophy is not to give hard numbers for prognosis, and the reason is that I think again, there are lots of studies out there. There are lots of graphs and charts and statistics you can read, but for an individual patient you are one, you are not 600 people, you are not a thousand people and the reason I mentioned. That is because, whenever you look at these studies with different curves that say so, and so cancer has a x percent chance of of survival to a single patient.

That doesn't mean anything well they're. Finding that the HPV virus is being linked to certain cancers in the head and neck, the one sub site that it is strongly linked to is what we call the oral pharynx. So the back of your tongue, the tonsils and again the exact reason they don't know. But, what's being found and again similar to the reason why women get pap smears to screen for cervical cancer is that the HPV virus can cause certain changes in that particular area which can lead to cancers.

The good news is, though, is that if a cancer in the back of the mouth is associated with HPV typically, the prognosis is more favorable than someone who has a HPV negative cancer. The best way to screen for head neck cancer is to have regular visits with your primary care doctor and your dentist and the reason I say these two is because Dennis oftentimes are the first line, professionals that will find different, growths and different abnormalities in a person's Mouth and being that the mouth is one of the most common locations of head and neck cancer. Dentists are fantastic people because they will find them and at the end of the day, a lot of the guidelines say that we should be seeing dentists for routine screenings and cleanings at least once or twice a year and again seeing your primary care doctor is. Is of utmost importance because they will be checking your general health and if anything is abnormal, there are the ones that can then say.

Okay, maybe you need to have this test, or maybe you need to see this person typically as a cancer surgeon, a patient isn't coming to me regularly until they either have a diagnosis or until they have a finding. That'S concerning enough that it needs to be intervened. On a significant amount of, it is up to chance, just because it's very hard to predict who will get second cancer if they will get a second cancer. But like, like the initial question that we discussed it's all about modifying the risk factors.
If you have a cancer, then again it's always prudent to stop smoking to stop alcohol use, those kinds of things and again those risk factors that predispose you to maybe having the first cancer are also the same risk factors that could predispose you to having a second Cancer