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Head and Throat Cancers

Types of Head and Throat Cancers

The term “head and neck cancer” refers to a variety of tumors that can occur in the throat, larynx (voice box), nose, sinuses and mouth. Cancer that occurs in the mouth may also be considered to be a type of head and neck cancer, known as “oral cancer.”

Most head and neck cancers are called “squamous cell carcinomas” (SCC) because they begin on the surface layer of the region within the head or neck, where the cells are flat and squamous.

Ninety percent of cases of head and neck cancer (cancer of the mouth, nasal cavity, nasopharynx, throat and associated structures) are due to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

There are several subtypes of head and neck cancer. Dr. Dobleman is experienced in treating each variation successfully.

img-2 Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer
Behind the nose is a space where air passes on its way to the throat. This region is called the nasal cavity. The air-filled areas surrounding the nasal cavity are the paranasal sinuses.Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer:Both the mouth and the tongue are part of the oral cavity.Pharynx Cancers:
Nasopharyngeal Cancer:
The nasopharynx is an air passage located at the very upper part of the throat, just behind the nose.

Oropharynx Cancer
The oropharynx is the middle of the throat, extending from the tonsils to the top of the larynx

Hypopharyngeal Cancer:
The hypopharynx is the lower part of the throat, which surrounds the larynx. This part of the body is also called the gullet.

Laryngeal Cancer:
The larynx is located at the top of the windpipe, or trachea. Also called the voice box, this tube-shaped organ is involved in breathing, talking and swallowing.

Salivary Gland Cancer:
The salivary glands make saliva, which is essential for breaking down food.

Head and Throat Cancer Symptoms

Head and neck cancer symptoms include a lump or sore that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice. Other symptoms may include:

Oral cavity: A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth; a swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable; unusual bleeding or pain in the mouth.

Nasal cavity and sinuses: Sinuses that are blocked and do not clear, chronic sinus infections that do not respond to treatment with antibiotics, bleeding through the nose, frequent headaches, swelling or other trouble with the eyes, pain in the upper teeth, or problems with dentures.

Salivary glands: Swelling under the chin or around the jawbone; numbness or paralysis of the muscles in the face; or pain that does not go away in the face, chin, or neck.

Oropharynx and hypopharynx: Ear pain.

Nasopharynx: Trouble breathing or speaking, frequent headaches, pain or ringing in the ears, or trouble hearing.

Larynx: Pain when swallowing, or ear pain.

Metastatic squamous neck cancer: Pain in the neck or throat that does not go away.

 

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