Common health issue

Head and Neck Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment Cure.

Head and neck cancer covers a wide of various kinds. They include cancer of the oral cavity, throat, voice box, nasal cavity, and the nearby paranasal sinuses and salivary glands.

Head and neck cancer normally begins in the squamous cells established in the soft surfaces inside the head and neck. However, these surfaces may incorporate the mouth, nose, and throat.


However, there are severe kinds of head and neck cancer. The type will be based on where in the head and neck cancer is:-

Oral cavity: However, this type of cancer may build in the:-

  • Lips
  • Front two-thirds of the tongue
  • Gums
  • Cheeks
  • The floor of the mouth
  • The roof of the mouth

Throat or pharynx: However, this type of cancer may build in the:-

  • Nasopharynx, which is a segment of the throat behind the nose
  • Oropharynx, the area of the throat behind the mouth
  • Hypopharynx, which is the segment of the throat below the mouth

Voicebox or larynx: However, this kind of cancer can influences the following:-

  • The voice box and vocal cords
  • The epiglottis, which removes food from entering the airway

Paranasal sinuses: However, this type of cancer influences the spaces between the bones around the nose.

Nasal cavity: This kind of cancer may happen in the space in the nose.

Salivary glands: This type of cancer builds in the glands at the floor of the mouth by the jawbone.

The following areas of the body normally have a classification of their own rather than fall into the category of head and neck cancer:-

  • Eye cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Muscle cancer
  • Scalp cancer


Symptoms of head and neck cancer will be based on where cancer starts.

Oral cavity

Symptoms of cancer in the oral cavity may include:-

  • Mouth ulcers that do not heal
  • Pain in the mouth
  • Decreased jaw mobility
  • A lump in the neck
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Bad breath
  • Red patches in the mouth
  • White patches in the mouth


The pharynx is another form of the throat. Symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer may include:-

  • Lumps in the neck
  • Hearing loss on one side
  • Tinnitus
  • Fluid in the ear
  • The blocked nose on one side
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Facial numbness
  • Vocal changes

However, sometimes a person with nasopharyngeal cancer will not have any signs.


The larynx, also known as the voice box, holds the vocal cords. Symptoms of laryngeal cancer may include:-

  • Changes to the voices, like hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ear pain

Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity

Symptoms of nasal and paranasal cancer may include issues with the nose, eyes, and sometimes the mouth or ears. Amid nasal symptoms are:-

  • Congestion
  • Nosebleeds
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Mucus leaking from the nose
  • Mucus draining into the throat

Eye symptoms may include:-

  • Bulging in one eye
  • Vision loss
  • Double vision
  • Eye pain
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye swelling

A person can also feel other issues, including:-

  • Lump on the face, on the nose, or in the mouth
  • Facial numbness
  • Headaches
  • Hearing loss

Salivary glands

Salivary glands are supervising for building saliva. Symptoms of cancer in the salivary glands may include:-

  • Lumps or swelling near the jaw
  • Pain in the face
  • Facial numbness
  • Facial drooping or changes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  •  Reduced jaw mobility
  • Facial muscle weakness


According to the National Cancer Institute, the two greatest risk factors for building head and neck cancers are alcohol, consumption, and use of tobacco, incorporating chewing tobacco or snuff.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the human papillomavirus (HPV) creates about 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers, which influence the tonsils, soft palate, and base of the tongue.


To diagnosed head and neck cancer, a consultant will receive a person’s medical history, do physical tests, and other diagnostic exams.


However, these exams may include an ultrasound scan of the neck or a nasendoscopy, which seeks at the back of the mouth, nose, pharynx, and larynx. Other exams may include:-

  • CT scans
  • PET scans
  • X-rays
  • MRI scans


A person may require to undergo a test while they are under normal anesthesia so that a consultant can test an area severely closely with an endoscope.

However, if the person is not able to have a normal anesthetic, a consultant may opt for a transnasal flexible Laryngol-esophagoscopy instead. This may involve spraying the nose and throat with an anesthetic and injecting an endoscope into the nose and throat. A person would be awake throughout the exam.


The type of treatment a person requires will be based on the kind of cancer they have and its stage. However, treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a merger of these.  However, if cancer has increased to another part of the body, a person’s treatment may change.

Surgery and radiotherapy

According to a 2014 study, initial stage head and neck cancer normally need surgery or radiotherapy. People with advanced head and neck cancer collect treatment involving surgery, radiotherapy, or radiochemotherapy.

A person may also require surgery to support manage changes brought about by the surgery to cure cancer. However, this can include injecting feeding tubes if a person is abnormal to swallow.