Head and Neck Cancer
Oral head and neck cancer is the sixth most common form of cancer in the United States affecting 40,000 Americans each year. More than 85 % of these cancers are related to tobacco use and are, therefore, preventable. Recently there is an increase of incidence in young non-smokers due to the human papilloma virus (HPV) of the throat.
Most oral cancers arise on the lips, tongue or on the floor of the mouth, but may also occur on the gums, roof of mouth or inside of cheeks. Early detection is one of the best ways to fight this type of cancer. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- A sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal or grows in size
- Lumps inside the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Soreness in throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
- Changes in voice
- Pain / Swelling in the jaw
Other head and neck cancers include areas in the throat, esophagus, larynx, and nasal regions. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.