Head and neck cancer is the collective term for the many types of cancer than can affect your mouth, throat, nose, and the many glands in your face and neck. The experienced board-certified doctors at Beach Cities ENTS in Torrance, California, provide expert diagnosis and customized treatments for head and neck cancer. If you have an abnormal lump, unexplained cough, or trouble swallowing, call the Los Angeles area office or schedule a consultation online today.
There are several types of head and neck cancer, which are identified by the part of the body where they begin.
Your larynx is commonly referred to as your voice box, and your hypopharynx is the section of your throat that surrounds it. Your larynx and hypopharynx are critical to breathing, speaking, and swallowing.
These cancers affect the inside of your mouth, tongue, and the part of your throat that extends from your tonsils to your voicebox.
Your salivary glands produce the saliva that keeps your mouth moist. Your saliva also includes the enzymes that begin the digestion process.
You can also develop cancer in your nasal and sinus cavities — the hollow spaces behind your nose and cheeks that warm and moisten the air before it enters your lungs.
Other types of head and neck cancer include thyroid cancer, parathyroid cancer, sarcoma, and esophageal cancer.
The warning signs of head and neck cancer depend on the location, type, and severity of your tumor. For example, laryngeal cancer affects your voice and can interfere with your ability to swallow. Thyroid cancer affects your thyroid function and can lead to hyper or hypoactive symptoms.
You might also have trouble breathing or develop a lump on your face, throat, or neck. Many oral cancers begin as patches of rough tissue in your mouth.
The team of experienced physicians at Beach Cities ENTS provides comprehensive testing to diagnose head and neck cancers.
In addition to a physical exam, they use imaging studies such as ultrasounds, MRIs, and X-rays. They also use endoscopy to examine the inside of your sinuses and throat in more detail and, if necessary, take a biopsy.
Your doctor also uses blood tests to check for other signs of abnormality in the many glands located in your head and neck.
The doctors implement personalized treatment plans for head and neck cancers. In many cases, they combine surgery to remove the tumor with additional chemotherapy and radiation to ensure the destruction of all cancer cells.
Your doctor collaborates with your oncologist and can discuss your individual needs in detail. The team always takes the time to explain your condition in detail and answer your questions, so you’re empowered to make the best choices about your health care.
If you’re looking for expert diagnosis and treatment for head and neck cancers, call Beach Cities ENTS or make an appointment online today.