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.