Head and neck cancer refers to a group of biologically similar cancers that start in the lip, oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity (inside the nose), paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. 90% of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCHN), originating from the mucosal lining (epithelium) of these regions. Head and neck cancers often spread to the lymph nodes of the neck, and this is often the first (and sometimes only) sign of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Head and neck cancer is strongly associated with certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, UV light, particular chemicals used in certain workplaces, and certain strains of viruses, such as human papillomavirus. These cancers are frequently aggressive in their biologic behavior; patients with these types of cancer are at a higher risk of developing another cancer in the head and neck area. Head and neck cancer is highly curable if detected early, usually with some form of surgery, but radiation therapy may also play an important role, while chemotherapy is often ineffective. The 2009 estimated number of head and neck cancer in the US is of 35,720 new cases.Source: Wikipedia
Within all the people who go to their doctor with head and neck cancer, 28% report having sore throat, 23% report having difficulty in swallowing, and 15% report having mouth pain. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of head and neck cancer are mouth pain, throat feels tight, tongue lesions, tongue pain, and bleeding in mouth, although you may still have head and neck cancer without those symptoms.
Patients with head and neck cancer often receive complete blood count, x-ray computed tomography, therapeutic radiology for cancer treatment, biopsy, wound care management, magnetic resonance imaging, occupational therapy assessment and tracheoscopy and laryngoscopy with biopsy .
The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with head and neck cancer include oxycodone, cetuximab (erbitux), cisplatin, paclitaxel (taxol), carboplatin, aprepitant (emend), fluorouracil, sucralfate (carafate), megestrol (megace), darbepoetin alfa (aranesp), oxymetazoline nasal, barium sulfate and granisetron .
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Groups of people at highest risk for head and neck cancer include sex == male, age 60-74 years and age 45-59 years. On the other hand, age 5-14 years and age 1-4 years almost never get head and neck cancer.