Head and neck cancers are found in areas such as the mouth, nose and throat. We’ve helped thousands of patients with head and neck cancer, and we can help you. Some of the types of head and neck cancers we treat include:
- Thyroid cancer
- Parathyroid cancer
- Tongue cancer
- Oral cavity cancer
- Tonsil cancer
- Pharyngeal cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Throat cancer
- Sinus cancer
- Salivary gland cancer
- Parotid gland cancer
- Neck cancer
- Other skin cancers
At Great Lakes Cancer Care, we strive to understand your diagnosis and your circumstances thoroughly, and to provide you with the most effective care possible.
A sore throat and changes in your voice are two symptoms associated with head and neck cancer. Other sores and lumps—especially those that do not go away—may also be signs. Additional symptoms include:
- Ear pain
- Problems with chewing or swallowing
- Red or white patches in your mouth and surrounding areas, or thickening of your mouth, gums or lips
- Pain, numbness, bleeding or swelling
- Loose teeth or dentures
- Previous lip or oral cavity cancer
- Unexplained weight loss
A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of developing a head or neck cancer. Risk factors for head and neck cancer include:
Smoking and the use of chewing tobacco affect cells in the mouth, nose and throat, increasing your risk of developing a head and neck cancer.
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to the development of head and neck cancer.
Your physician may start with a physical exam, then send you for additional tests, including:
- Barium swallow
- CT scan
- PET scan
Head and neck cancer is treated differently depending on the site involved and the extent of the disease.
Surgery typically involves removal of the tumor and may involve removal of part or the entire site of disease. It may also involve removal of some of the lymph nodes in your neck.
Radiation may be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy. It can also be used before or after surgery. Our sophisticated IMRT techniques can help spare your head and neck from unnecessary radiation exposure. We highly recommend that you quit smoking before you start radiation therapy, as radiation for head and neck cancers has been shown to be more effective in patients who do not smoke.
Chemotherapy treatments come in many forms, such as pill and injection. These drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body, killing mostly cancer cells, but also some healthy cells. Chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy.