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Posts for tag: Head and Neck Cancers

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
January 25, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Head and Neck CancersMore than 66,000 people in the US will develop head and neck cancer this year, according to the CDC. While head and neck cancer can happen to anyone, men are twice as likely to develop this form of cancer than women. One of the best ways to catch head and neck cancer early is to recognize warning signs and risk factors. If you’re concerned, an ENT doctor can help.

What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?

Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer:
  • Tender red or white patches in the mouth
  • A painful lump in the neck or mouth
  • Persistent or recurring sore throats
  • Hoarseness or other vocal changes
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing
  • Frequent nosebleeds, often on one side
  • Ear pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Blood in saliva
  • Unexplained and sudden weight loss
  • Fatigue
If any of these symptoms persist, it is important that you turn to your doctor right away for a proper diagnosis. While these symptoms may be a sign of head or neck cancer it’s also important to recognize that other conditions can cause some of these same symptoms. If you are worried that you might have cancer an ENT doctor can perform the proper tests to rule it out.

What can an otolaryngologist do for me?

An ENT doctor has received specialized training to be able to provide valuable insight and to create custom treatment plans for patients dealing with head and neck cancer. Additionally, an otolaryngologist usually has advanced imaging tests right here in their office to diagnose or rule out cancer. They will collaborate with your current doctors to come up with the very best treatment options and care to remove benign or malignant tumors. For patients who are dealing with structural changes as a result of tumor or growth removal, an ENT doctor may also be able to provide face and neck reconstructive surgery.

We understand just how scary head and neck cancer can be. Our goal is to provide patients with the supportive, respectful, and understanding care and support they need from our whole team. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of head and neck cancer, it’s important that you turn to an ENT doctor right away for proper diagnostic testing to determine what’s causing your symptoms. The sooner you turn to an otolaryngologist the better.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christ
November 08, 2019
Category: Otolaryngology

Cancer can grow anywhere in the body, even the head and neck. These cancers are twice as common among men and they are usually diagnosed in adults over 50 years old. The common types of head and neck cancer include:

  • Oral cavity
  • Oropharnygeal (in the throat or back of the mouth)
  • Nasal cavity
  • Paranasal sinus
  • Nasopharyngeal
  • Laryngeal (in the voice box)
  • Hypopharyngeal (behind or beside the voice box)

Most of the time people don’t find out that they have head and neck cancer until symptoms start to surface that warrant visiting the doctor. Sometimes a dentist may be able to pinpoint early changes during your routine dental cleanings; however, your doctor may send you to an otolaryngologist for a more comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis.

During your evaluation, an ENT doctor will ask you questions regarding your current health and any symptoms you are experiencing. From there, your doctor will determine the best tests to perform to detect head and neck cancer. These tests may include a physical examination of the head and neck, a CT or MRI scan, or a biopsy.

If you are diagnosed with head and neck cancer the first thing your doctor will want to do is determine what stage the cancer is (which simply means determining how far the cancer has spread). The stages let us know the extent of the cancer’s growth but also which organs have been affected or could soon be affected. Stages of cancer range from 0-4, with the lower stages indicating that the cancer hasn’t spread to other organs or isn’t spreading quickly.

Treating Head and Neck Cancer

Today, there are many treatment options for head and neck cancer and your doctor will be able to go through the different options to determine the right plan for you. The type of treatment or treatments you will receive will depend on the stage and location of your cancer.

Localized treatments such as surgery or radiation are used to treat only the cancer and do not affect the body as a whole, while systemic treatments such as chemo and targeted therapy drugs will affect the whole body. Systemic treatments are often used on patients with more advanced stages of cancer that have spread to other areas of the body.

Surgery may be recommended if the cancer isn’t in a difficult location in which to operate. Surgery can be performed to remove lymph nodes from the neck or to remove part or all of a structure such as the voice box or jawbone.

If you are noticing changes in your voice, an oral sore or lesion that doesn’t heal, or a mass in the head or neck region it’s a good idea to see your ear, nose, and throat doctor right away for a thorough examination. The sooner head and neck cancer is detected the better.