The head and neck have a variety of structures which can be affected by cancer, and Dr. Gordon Siegel, an otolaryngologist at Midwest Ear Nose and Throat in Chicago, IL, wants all of his patients to be aware of the ways that cancer may present itself in this region of the body. It's important to understand the signs and symptoms of cancer. Having it diagnosed early makes treatment more effective and makes it easier to manage.
What types of cancer affect the head and neck?
There are many types of cancer in the head and neck area. The most commonly seen cancers originate inside the mouth; many of these can be associated with tobacco use. Any part of the throat may also be affected by cancerous growths, as well as the salivary glands, the sinuses and the nasal passages.
What are the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer?
No two cases of head and neck cancer are alike. All of the following signs and symptoms can also be attributed to benign causes, which is why it is important to see your otolaryngologist with any concerns you may have so that a proper diagnosis can be obtained. Dr. Siegel is affiliated with Northwestern Hospital and provides the most up to date treatment options. The symptoms can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes, which may or may not be painful
- A persistent sore throat
- A red or white patch or a lesion inside the mouth that does not heal
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing, with or without pain
- Numbness or weakness in an area of the head or neck
If you have any of the above symptoms or another problem that has persisted longer than two weeks, we here at Midwest Ear Nose and Throat in Chicago, IL urge you to call to make an appointment with our skilled head and neck cancer specialist, Dr. Siegel.