The specialist in otorhinolaryngology summarizes the concept of head and neck cancer as various cancers that occur in the area of the head and neck.

There are many kinds of research done to find a cure for cancer. Cancer cells are removed through surgery to prevent it from spreading in the body. Surgery as part of medicine has been developed over the years. One that is common today is plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is done to reconstruct or enhance the appearance. If you are interested in learning more about plastic surgery, Plastic Surgery BRISBANE Team of Doctors and Surgeons can answer your questions about this topic.

Head and neck cancer include malignant tumors:

  • the oral cavity
  • the lips
  • the tongue
  • the floor of the mouth
  • the palate
  • the salivary glands (oral carcinoma) of the pharynx (pharyngeal carcinoma) of the larynx (laryngeal carcinoma)
  • the nose
  • the paranasal sinuses
  • the outer neck, especially the thyroid gland of the ear

Poor oral hygiene and chronic injuries can lead to head and neck cancer. Over the past decade, ENT specialists have noted an increase in head and neck cancer. Especially among young women and the elderly. Head and neck cancer ranks sixth in the world for all types of cancer. In Germany, the most common type of cancer diagnosed by the ENT specialist in the head and neck area is laryngeal cancer (laryngeal carcinoma). Around 9,500 men and 3,500 women develop malignant tumors of the oral cavity and pharynx each year. At the time of diagnosis, men are 66 years old on average. For women, the average age is 70 years. However, ENT specialists are diagnosing head and neck cancer in more and more young women. This is due to the increased consumption of tobacco smoke. 

Treatments

If the diagnosis “head and neck cancer” is established, the ENT specialist will quickly start the treatment (therapy). The type, size, location, and spread of the tumor, as well as the age and state of health of the patient,  are taken into account when choosing the right treatment option. Basically, the specialist for ENT aims for a complete cure. For this, the following treatments are available: 

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Laser surgery
Head and neck cancer treatment

If the head and neck cancer are not advanced, surgical removal of the tumor by the ENT specialist is often sufficient. If the lymph nodes are already affected, these are also removed. Sometimes patients have to expect cosmetic surgery after surgery. With the help of plastic surgery, they can be partially or completely repaired. On the other hand, if the head and neck tumor has progressed further, radiation therapy or chemotherapy by the ENT specialist is required or a combination of both (adjuvant treatment). If the head and neck cancers are not operated on, the ENT specialist will combine chemotherapy with radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy). For the treatment of head and neck cancer specialists for ENT also use the drug cetuximab to complement the radiation or chemotherapy. Studies have shown that this has significantly prolonged patients’ survival. Further treatment options are currently being researched. After treatment, regular follow-up visits to your ENT specialist are required.

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