Head and Neck Cancer
About Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer is an umbrella term for any cancer that affects parts of the head and neck. This includes cancers in the mouth, nose, sinuses, and throat. Head and neck cancers can be further broken down based on location, including:
- Oral cavity
- Pharynx (Throat Cancer)
- Larynx (the voicebox)
- Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity
- Salivary glands
Most head and neck cancers start in the squamous cells, which comprise the linings of moist, mucosal areas of the head and neck.
Causes and Risk Factors
Head and neck cancers are caused by genetic mutations that cause cells to grow unregulated, resulting in the formation of tumors and potential spread to other parts of the body. The exact physiological factors that contribute to this genetic mutation still remain unknown and may combine a mix of environment and heredity.
While the exact cause of Head and Neck cancers is still not known, doctors know that tobacco and alcohol use are the most prominent risk factors of head and neck cancers. In fact, at least 75 percent of head and neck cancers are caused by alcohol and tobacco use, which includes smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco like snuff and chewing tobacco.
Infection with certain types of human papillomavirus, particularly HPV infection type 16, are also considered to be one of the risk factors for head and neck cancers. This particularly applies to oropharyngeal cancers, which involve the base of the tongue or the tonsils.
An Epstein-Barr virus may also be a risk factor for cancer of the salivary glands and nasopharyngeal cancer.
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
The symptoms of head and neck cancer can vary based on the location of the cancer. However, the most common symptoms may include:
- A lump or sore in the neck that does not heal
- A persistent sore throat
- Sudden hoarse voice
- Difficulty swallowing
Cancer of the oral cavity may be accompanied by a white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth and unusual bleeding in the mouth. Cancer in the salivary glands can contribute to sudden swelling in the jawbone or under the chin along with numbness in the muscles of the face.
Diagnosing head and neck cancer usually starts with a basic physical examination and tests to create images of the affected area. Most all head and neck cancers will require a biopsy, which involves taking a tissue sample for examination to determine if there are any cancer cells. This is the only test to truly determine if you have a type of head and neck cancer.
If you do have cancer, the doctor will proceed to the staging process. Staging allows the doctor to determine if the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body. This helps in developing the treatment plan. Stages for head and neck cancer range from 0 to IV. Stage I suggests that the cancer is confined to only one affected organ, while higher stages suggest that the cancer has spread to completely different parts of the body.
About Head and Neck Cancer Alternative Treatment Options
Typical clinical treatments for head and neck cancer usually include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. All of which leaves the patient feeling physically weak and exhausted. Some even require rehabilitation and can interrupt cancer patients ability to eat, speak, and even breathe.
When exploring your head and neck cancer treatment options it’s important you consider alternative and natural cancer therapies. Alternative therapy for a tumor, including head and neck tumors, allows for effective treatment without the discomfort, physical exhaustion, and rehabilitation that occur with traditional treatments.
Immunity Therapy Center is a cancer center where you will find a wide range of alternative, natural treatments customized to your specific needs and disease. Our facilities offer a positive space to heal, while one-on-one consultations give you the opportunity to ask questions about your targeted therapy program. Our personnel works with you to learn more about your life, address your concerns, and support you through every step of the process. We pride ourselves on the quality of cancer care we provide and are eager to educate you on natural head and neck cancer treatment options. Contact us today to learn more or to receive a custom patient treatment plan.
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