Posts for category: ENT Health Care
Cancer is a word that strikes fear in many people's hearts and for good reason. However, Dr. Gordon Siegel of Midwest ENT in Chicago wants you to know that cancer—particularly head and neck cancers—are preventable, detectable and treatable. Read these FAQs to learn more about keeping yourself cancer-free.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Head and Neck Cancer
1. How prevalent are head and neck cancers? Cancers of the squamous cells in the mouth, nose, and throat (voice box and esophagus) account for about four percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States each year. That's around 65,000 people, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology or ASCO.
2. Are these cancers treatable? Yes, both are highly treatable, but as with any other cancer, early detection is the key to successful treatment.
3. How can I be screened for head and neck cancers? An annual physical should entail your physician examining your throat and ears. Also, they will feel your neck for any swellings or lumps, reviewing any symptoms you may have. Bi-annual dental examinations also screen for oral cancers.
4. What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer? There are many symptoms. However, some individuals show no signs at all; that's why routine screenings with your primary care physician and dentist are so vital. Symptoms may include:
- A lump, swelling, sore or patch that won’t heal.
- Sore throat.
- Hoarse voice.
- Jaw pain.
- Weight loss.
- Constant bad breath.
5. What are the treatment options? They are as varied as the cancers themselves. Much depends on location, overall health, and cancer staging, or how developed the lesion is and if it’s spread to other areas of the body. Surgical excision is a common treatment as is laser therapy, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Dr. Siegel fully coordinates care plans from initial diagnosis to treatment to follow-up care.
6. Can these cancers be prevented? The American Cancer Society states that a large percentage of these cancers are preventable. Avoid all forms of tobacco. Limit your sun exposure and alcohol intake. Additionally, research shows that exposure to HPV, the Human Papillomavirus, puts people at high risk for head and neck cancers.
To learn more, visit Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat of Chicago, IL
If you have more questions about head and neck cancers, please contact Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat for a consultation. You'll find compassionate, skilled care in our state-of-the-art facility. Call today for an appointment with Dr. Gordon Siegel: (312) 988-7777. Midwest ENT in Chicago is a proud member of Northwestern Private Practice, a group of independent physicians that provide top medical care to patients living in Chicagoland. Our goal is to provide patients with a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible, often within a week.
Are you dealing with the effects of vocal polyps?
Most people don’t notice issues with their vocal cords until the problem has become rather serious. People who use their voice a lot, as well as those who need to shout or work within noisy environments may be prone to vocal issues. It’s important to know whether you might be dealing with a vocal cord disorder and when you should turn to our Chicago otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel at Midwest ENT for treatment.
Common Vocal Cord Disorders
The most common vocal problems include,
- Nodules: Nodules are hard, callus-like growths that develop on the vocal cords (often the result of irritation and vocal abuse). Teachers, singers and people who have to use their voice on a regular basis for work may be prone to developing vocal cord nodules.
- Polyps: These soft growths are also the result of vocal abuse or exposure to certain irritants such as cigarette smoke. Long-term smokers are at an increased risk of developing polyps.
- Laryngitis: This condition causes inflammation or an infection of the vocal cords. If the inflammation is severe enough you may temporarily lose your voice. Causes of laryngitis include vocal abuse, viral infections, heartburn or allergies.
- Ulcer: Vocal cord ulcers aren’t as common as the other conditions listed above; however, they can cause serious vocal cord erosion. Ulcers are more common in public speakers as well as those who have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).
Symptoms of Vocal Cord Disorders
As you might imagine, those dealing with vocal cord disorders often experience symptoms that impact the sound, quality and tone of their voice. One of the most common symptoms of a vocal cord disorder is hoarseness, which is present in most of the conditions above. If you are dealing with laryngitis caused by an infection then you may also experience a fever, fatigue or sore throat.
Those with ulcers, polyps and nodules may also notice that they have a low-pitched voice that tires easily. Ulcers may also cause throat pain. Our Chicago ENT doctor should evaluate your vocal cords if you’ve been dealing with,
- Hoarseness for more than two weeks
- You have trouble swallowing
- You feel like you have a lump in your throat
- You are experiencing unexpected throat pain
- You have lost your voice for more than a few days
Considering Vocal Cord Surgery
Surgery is usually not necessary unless the patient has not experienced any relief from their symptoms through nonsurgical treatment options. If you are still dealing with hoarseness and inflammation then our otolaryngologist may recommend surgery to remove the benign growth or scar tissue. There are several techniques that can improve these common vocal cord disorders.
About Midwest ENT
Midwest ENT in Chicago is a proud member of Northwestern Private Practice, a group of independent physicians that provide top medical care to patients living in Chicagoland. Our goal is to provide patients with a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible, often within a week.
If you want to discuss whether voice surgery is the most effective way to treat your vocal cysts, polyps or other issues then call our office today at (312) 988-777 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegel.
If you’ve been having trouble breathing due to sinus issues find out if surgery might help.
Most people will deal with a sinus infection at some point during their lifetime. While a stuffy nose, nasal congestion, and facial pressure may be uncomfortable these symptoms will usually go away within a week or two. Unfortunately, there are some people who suffer from chronic or recurring sinus infections. When this happens it’s a good time to turn to our Chicago otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel at Midwest ENT to find out what he can do to help.
The Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
In order for a sinus infection to be chronic, symptoms have to last for more than 12 weeks. The common symptoms of sinusitis include,
- Nasal inflammation
- Thick nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal congestion
- Trouble breathing through the nose
- Coughing that’s worse at night
- Pain the ears
- Facial pain and pressure
- Bad breath
When to Consider Sinus Surgery
While many people won’t require surgery in order to effectively treat their sinusitis, surgery may be the best option for someone who has been dealing with chronic sinusitis that isn’t responding to nonsurgical treatments.
Only once a patient has exhausted all other treatment options will our Chicago otolaryngologist doctor recommend getting sinus surgery. Surgery is effective for removing blockages in the nasal cavity to drain the sinuses and restore breathing.
Before undergoing surgery, your otolaryngologist will run a CT scan of the sinuses about 4-6 weeks after starting sinusitis medication to see if it's working. This CT scan will also help us determine what might be causing your sinus infection.
We know that your goal is to find the best physicians in the Chicagoland area. That’s why Midwest ENT is proud to be part of Northwestern Private Practice, which provides patients with independent physicians who are working at the esteemed Northwestern Memorial Hospital and other Northwestern-affiliated clinics. Learn more about us on our website: www.northwesternprivatepractice.com.
We believe that getting medical care, from a simple ENT consultation to undergoing sinus surgery, should be quick and easy. We are often able to get patients in to see a doctor within a week. If you’re looking for an ENT doctor in Chicago to treat your sinus problems then turn to Dr. Siegel of Midwest ENT.
Learn more about the causes and ways to treat head and neck cancer.
Head and neck cancers aren’t as often discussed as other forms of cancer; however, it’s just as important that you understand the symptoms and warning signs that you might have head or neck cancer. As with any cancer, it’s important that you see a medical professional as soon as possible so the cancer can be caught early. From the office of our Chicago otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel at Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat, find out more about head and neck cancer.
What are the different kinds of head and neck cancers?
Head and neck cancers can affect,
- The oral cavity (this includes everything from the gums to the lips and tongue)
- Pharynx (throat)
- Larynx (voice box)
- Sinus and nasal cavity
- Salivary glands
What causes head and neck cancers?
As you might imagine, tobacco use and alcohol consumption are the two most common risk factors for head and neck cancers, particularly cancers that affect the oral cavity, larynx and pharynx.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a certain strain of human papillomavirus (HPV) that has the potential to cause cancer this is something you’ll want to discuss with your Chicago ENT doctor to make sure that you are getting the proper head and neck cancers screening and routine checkups to detect symptoms early on.
What are the symptoms of head and neck cancers?
Symptoms will differ depending on the location of cancer. Symptoms may include,
- Painful swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Chronic hoarseness
- Persistent headaches
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Ear pain
- Sinus blockage
- Eye problems or vision changes
- Swelling around the jaw
- Facial swelling
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Issues with the way dentures fit
Any of these symptoms warrant a trip to our office for an evaluation, particularly if you have one or more risk factors.
How are head and neck cancers treated?
Your treatment will be based on several factors including the stage of your cancer, the location of the cancer, the age of the patient and the patient’s overall health. From there, we will work to determine which treatment option is right for you. Common treatment options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- A combination of different therapies
Are you experiencing any of the signs or symptoms above? Do you have any questions or concerns about changes to your ear, nose or throat health? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Siegel at Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat is proud to serve the Chicago area. Call us today at (312) 988-7777 to schedule an appointment with us.
- Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
- Irrigating your nasal passages with saline and water
- Trying linens and pillowcases that are allergy-proof
- Placing allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially your bedroom
- Nasal congestion, a runny nose and watery eyes
- Coughing, wheezing or chest congestion
- A rash, itchy skin or eczema
- An itchy throat, nose or eyes
- Skin tests- during which tiny amounts of different allergens are injected just under your skin; you will know you are allergic to the substance if you see swelling or a rash within 20 minutes.
- Challenge tests- used to diagnose medication and food allergies, during which you inhale or ingest a tiny amount of allergen to test for a reaction
- Blood tests- a sample of your blood is sent to a laboratory where testing is completed
Remember it’s never too early to seek help from an allergist. Your allergist can help you get relief from allergies at any time of the year. Don’t wait! Call today and feel better tomorrow!