Head and Neck Cancer

7 July 2017

Head and Neck cancers are the 6th most common cancers in the world, accounting for 6% of all tumours.

When talking about head and neck cancer we do not include brain, eye, esophagus, thyroid, scalp, skin, bones or blood cancers, as these are not classified as head and neck, the cancers head and neck refers to primarily are those in the oral cavity, the salivary glands, the pharynx, larynx, nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses.

As there are many different tissues that make up the head and neck, they are many types of cancerous cells that can be considered head and next cancer.

Head and neck cancer is more predominant in older men, with the following risk factors:

  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Pre-existing conditions and/or infections
  • Family history
  • Nutrition
  • Exposure at the workplace
  • Oral hygiene
  • Radiation

What are the symptoms?

As there are many areas involved there are many symptoms, most can or may be cause by other conditions, but it is important to see your doctor if any of these symptoms are persistent.

  • Constant coughing
  • Ear pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Constant nasal congestion
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pain above or below the eyes
  • Pus draining from the nose
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Loosening or numbness of the teeth
  • Growth or mass of the dace, nose or palate
  • Constant watery eyes
  • Bulging of one eye
  • Loss or change in vision
  • Pain or pressure in once of the ears
  • Trouble opening mouth
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Pain in the mouth, cheek, jaw, neck
  • Numbness in part of face
  • Weak face muscles
  • Fluid draining from an ear
  • White or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of mouth
  • Trouble moving the jaw or tongue
  • Numbness of tongue or other area of the mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Constant bad breath
  • Hearing loss or ringing in the ear
  • Reoccurring ear infections
  • Headaches
  • Blurred or double vision

Treatment debpends depending on primary site and stage.

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Cancer Support Mallorca is a charity registered in Spain under number G57773749.