Head and neck cancers affect more than 55,000 Americans every year and can develop anywhere in the mouth, nose, throat, and sinuses. Early diagnosis is important for ensuring the best possible prognosis. Regular checkups with an ear, nose and throat physician, also called an otolaryngologist, can increase the likelihood of early diagnosis. The otolaryngologist can look for signs of head and neck cancer during your exam. At Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat, in Chicago, IL Dr. Gordon Siegel is your otolaryngologist for the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer.
Several different symptoms can develop when head and neck cancer is present. If these symptoms develop, it is important to schedule an exam with a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner cancer is diagnosed and treatment begins, the better the prognosis for beating the cancer. Symptoms and signs of head and neck cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain when swallowing
- Swelling inside the mouth
- A growth inside the mouth
- A persistent lump in the neck
- Blood in the saliva or phlegm
- Voice changes that persist for more than two weeks
- Changes in the skin on the face, forehead or ears
Certain habits can increase the risk of developing head and neck cancer. Regular consumption of alcohol and the use of tobacco products both increase the risk of developing head and neck cancer. All types of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products can increase risk.
Diagnosis and Treatment
When symptoms of head and neck cancer develop, several different types of medical tests can be performed to determine if cancer is present. Such tests include a head an neck exam, biopsy, CT scan, and MRI scan. If medical tests indicate cancer is present, treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. A Chicago head and neck cancer specialist can discuss which treatment methods are recommended based on your individual situation and what stage the cancer is at.
Knowing the signs of head and neck cancer helps with early diagnosis, which can give you the best prognosis. For the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer in Chicago, IL, schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegel by calling Midwest Ear Nose and Throat at (312) 988-7777.