Here’s what you should know about head and neck cancer.
Over the last year, we’ve seen a rise in head and neck cancer in the US, and this rise may be due to increased rates of human papillomavirus (HPV). While men are more likely than women to develop head and neck cancer, rates in women are also increasing. This is why you should seek immediate medical care from our Chicago otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel if you notice any warning signs or symptoms.
Where can head and neck cancer originate?
There are a variety of different types of head and neck cancer. Since cancer can develop anywhere in the body, it also has the ability to affect,
- The oral cavity
- Mouth or throat
- Nasal cavity
- Paranasal sinus
- Nasopharyngeal cancer
- Laryngeal cancer (voice box)
- Hypopharyngeal cancer
What are the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer?
The symptoms you experience will depend on where the head and neck cancer is developing. For example, those dealing with oral or mouth cancer will most likely notice,
- Pain in the mouth
- Jaw swelling
- A lump in the mouth that doesn’t go away
- Red or white patches in the tongue or gums
- Lesions or sores in the mouth that don’t go away
For head and neck cancers that affect the throat, you may notice,
- A Persistent sore throat
- The sensation of a lump in the throat
- Chronic hoarseness or changes in your voice
- Trouble or pain with swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Ear pain
For head and neck cancer that affects the sinuses, you may notice,
- Frequent nosebleeds (particularly on one side of the nose)
- Chronic sinus infections that are difficult to treat
- Swelling around the eyes
- Frequent headaches
- Severe nasal congestion or blockages
If you are dealing with these symptoms for more than one week, it’s a good idea to schedule an evaluation with our Chicago otolaryngologist to rule out neck and head cancer.
If you are concerned about your risk for head or neck cancer, our Chicago team is here to help. Call Midwest Ear Nose and Throat practice at (312) 988-7777 to schedule a consultation.