Head and neck cancers typically begin in the squamous cells that line the mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck. They are categorized by the part of the body they originate in.
Types of head and neck cancer include:
Head and neck cancers are almost twice as common in men as in women. They are most frequently diagnosed in people over 50 years old, and they account for roughly four percent of all cancers in the United States.
Risk factors for head and neck cancers include:
Symptoms of head and neck cancers include:
If you are dealing with any of the above symptoms, your doctor will evaluate your medical history, perform a physical examination, and order diagnostic tests to determine the cause. These exams and tests could vary based on the symptoms displayed. To diagnose any form of head and neck cancer, it is necessary to examine a tissue sample under a microscope.
Once cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will perform an exam, order X-rays and other imaging procedures, and laboratory tests to determine the stage of the cancer. Once this is discerned, your medical team can plan a treatment strategy.
Each patient’s treatment depends on many factors, including the stage of cancer, location of the tumor, and the patient’s age and overall health. Treatment options for head and neck cancer include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, or a combination of these and other procedures.
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Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has recognized Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including Compassionate patient-centered cancer care.