Signs of Head and Neck Cancer

Signs of Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer normally affect areas such as the ear, throat, nose, sinuses, voice box or even the mouth. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend a specific surgical treatment depending on the type and stage of your head and neck cancer. Medical tools to be used are sterilized using a machine like the one’s at to prevent infection from spreading to other areas of the body.

As to the symptoms and signs of head and neck cancer, in most cases they usually rely on the place where cancer begins to develop/grow. For instance, tumors either in the pharynx or larynx may be identified as a blob in your throat. Mouth cancer may lead to the production of sores in the oral cavity or even swelling in your jaw. Head and neck cancer may also generate conditions that are not serious such as common cold in your nose. You may also experience changes in your voice, cough, sore throat, severe headaches and this could also be signs of throat cancer. More pain in your ears may also be associated with neck and head cancers.

Among the most common signs of head and neck cancer includes the following.

• A bolb in your nose, throat or neck, without or with much pain
• A persistent and consistent sore throat
• Swallowing difficulties
• Weight loss that is unexplained
• Persistent coughing
• Hoarseness or change in your voice
• Severe headaches
• A white or red patch in your oral cavity
• Unexplained poor breath by hygiene
• Persistent congestion or nasal obstruction
• Unusual discharge or persistent nose bleed
• Breathing difficulties
• Double vision
• Jaw pain
• Teeth loosening
• Weakness in body parts around the neck and head
• Unfit dentures
Ear pain or infection
• Fatigue

signs of head and neck cancer

It is always advisable to consult your doctor when you notice peculiar changes in your body especially on the parts around head and neck. The doctor may help you diagnose the problem(s) and eventually advice you accordingly. Giving a clear description of your signs and symptoms to your will serve as an important factor in determining how your disease can be treated.

Oral side effects of radiation therapy for head and neck cancers

Oral side effects of radiation therapy for head and neck cancers

Apparently, radiation therapy is applied during the treatment of various types of cancers. This is because it aids in eliminating the cancerous cells found in the body of a cancer patient. During the treatment, radiation is concentrated on the affected area which may also fall on the adjacent cells. Due to this, some side effects including tooth decay which may lead to tooth loss can happen. However, a cosmetic dentist can easily mend it for you by providing you with different tooth replacement options. Consult your dentist for more information.

The side effects of radiation therapy vary depending on:

• Its area of application
• Type of cancer
• Radiation therapy dosage
• Patient’s general health

Usually, some patients experience acute side effects, others minimal while others experience none at all. These side effects mostly manifest during the 2nd or 3rd week of treatment and they may last for even weeks after the last treatment day.

The oral side effects of radiation therapy for head and neck cancers include:

• A dry mouth that results when the salivary glands get affected
• Mouth and gum sores induced by excess radiation on the oral noncancerous cells
Difficulty in swallowing due to the affected cells on the throat
• The stiffness of the jaw that results after damaging the cells that support the jaw
• Nausea that’s caused by the irritation of the alimentary canal
• Tooth decay due to the radiation rays that reaches the buccal cavity. Usually, the radiation goes to the extent of damaging the root cavity thus causing tooth decay.
• A Swelling on the lymph nodes that leads to a condition known as lymphedema

side effects of radiation therapy for head and neck cancers

Most of these side effects vanish when you finalize the treatment although a patient may develop long term side effect even after treatment. Despite that the chances are minimal, a second phase cancer on the affected area(s) may reappear. Therefore, before the radiation therapy is commenced, it’s crucial for a patient to inquire from a physician on the expected side effects. Also, during the treatment, a walk on the journey of cancer with a practitioner sharing all the side effects been experienced is advised.

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