While head and neck cancer are not talked about nearly as often as other types, there are many people that are diagnosed each year. While head and neck cancer only accounts for about 4% of all diagnosed cases of cancer, around 64,690 people are diagnosed each year. It is imperative for individuals to learn all they can about these types of cancers so they can be proactive and protect their health.
Understanding the Symptoms
Many of the symptoms that can begin to occur with head and neck cancer can be confused with other conditions in the body so they often get ignored. Unfortunately, many people are not properly diagnosed until their head or neck cancer has reached the latter stages. Early diagnosis is key to making sure cancer is treatable. When someone begins to notice the following symptoms, it is important they seek a diagnosis from the ENT or their family doctor.
- Bleeding from the nose and throat
- Coughing up blood
- Pain in the neck and throat when swallowing or at all times
- Swollen lumps and bumps in the neck and throat
- Changes in speech
- Weight loss
- Difficulty eating
How Is Cancer Treated?
As stated above, early detection is the key to saving the lives of cancer victims. When someone is diagnosed in the early stages, this means the cancer is less likely to have spread to other areas and can be contained with treatment.
With early detection, the five-year survival rate of neck cancer patients is 76%. While most neck cancer patients are over the age of fifty, people of all ages can develop the disease. Once cancer has been found, it will be staged by the oncologist so the proper treatment can be put in place.
Most types of neck cancer are treated with a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. With aggressive treatment, the cancer cells can be destroyed so they are no longer a threat. After the cancer has been kiilled, the patient will need to monitor their health and see their oncologist on a regular basis, to ensure the cancer does not return and their health is properly protected. To fully understand this type of cancer, click to learn more.