Head and Neck Cancer

There are a wide variety of locations in the head and neck anatomy that can develop cancer. The mouth, nose, throat, salivary and thyroid glands are some of the more common locations. Lymph nodes in the neck may also be involved in the malignant process. Men are at higher risk than woman. Various social habits also have been shown to correlate with increased risk.

What are the risk factors?

Some common head and neck cancer risk factors include:

  • Use of tobacco products such as smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • The Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV), which can be caused by sexual transmission, is becoming a more predominant cause of head and neck related cancers.
  • The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), known for causing “mono” in young people, has been linked with nasopharyngeal cancer.
  • High doses of radiation exposure
  • A positive family history for head and neck cancer

What are the symptoms?

Some common head and neck cancer symptoms include:

  • A mass in the nose, neck or throat
  • A persistent sore throat
  • Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent coughing
  • Change in voice or hoarseness
  • Ear pain or trouble hearing
  • Headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained fevers

If these symptoms fail to resolve after two or three weeks, consult your physician. Often they can aid in the diagnosis based on symptoms, physical examination, the results of a series of advanced imaging and laboratory tests. In general, the sooner cancer is diagnosed and treatment implemented, the better it’s prognosis.

What are the treatment options?

There are three treatment options for head and neck cancer, used as a single modality or in combination: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Each option has benefits and risks that must be carefully reviewed. With attempts to treat cancer, there are potential side effects that need to be discussed in detail prior to intervention. The treatment plans you and your team of physicians create will be based on various factors such as the staging and type of malignancy involved.

Contact our office:

To find out more about our Head and Neck Cancer services, visit Dr. Friedman’s office locations at 7545 E Angus Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 and 903 N. Beeline Highway, Suite A, Payson, Arizona 85541, or book an appointment by calling 480-664-0125 today.

Head and Neck Cancer