Head & Neck
Otolaryngologists who specialize in the head and neck treat benign and cancerous tumors of this region, including tumors of the nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, larynx and upper esophagus, including the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Otolaryngologists are also trained in the diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions of the head and neck area, which may include the following:
- Sight, smell and hearing
- Appearance of the face
- Tumors, both malignant and benign
- Deformities of the face, such as cleft lip
- Facial trauma
Head & Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancers encompass several different diseases that can affect the mouth, nose, throat and other surrounding areas. Over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year, as these diseases account for 3 to 5 percent of all cancers. Fortunately, head and neck cancers are highly treatable and many can be prevented through lifestyle changes.
Several different types of cancer can affect the areas of the head and neck. Most begin in the lining of moist, mucosal surfaces such as the mouth, nose and throat. The different types of cancer associated with the head and neck include:
- Oral cavity
- Salivary glands
- Nasal cavity
- Pharynx (including nasopharynx, oropharynx and hypopharynx)
- Lymph nodes
Head and neck cancers are most often caused by tobacco and alcohol use, especially cancer of the oral cavity and larynx. Other factors that may lead to cancer include sun exposure, HPV, and radiation exposure. Tobacco and alcohol use is linked to 75 percent of head and neck cancers.
Symptoms of head and neck cancers vary depending on the type of cancer, but may include:
- Lump in the neck
- Hoarseness or trouble speaking
- Swelling and/or white or red patches on the gums, tongue or mouth
- Blood in saliva
- Difficulty swallowing and/or swelling under the chin
- New or changed growths on skin
If a patient is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with the doctor right away, since early diagnosis is important. Treatment often includes surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It is important to discuss treatment options with the doctor since certain methods may have long-term effects.
To learn more about our Head & Neck Services, please contact us at (956) 504-5360 today to schedule an appointment.