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Head And Neck Cancer

Southern ENT & Sinus Center

Otolaryngologists located in Birmingham, AL

Head and neck cancers affect 4% of adults, with 85% of all cases associated with smoking or chewing tobacco. D. Trent Lowery, MD, David Walters, MD, and Matthew Fort, MD, at Southern ENT & Sinus Center in Birmingham, Alabama, specialize in diagnosing and treating head and neck cancers, using their extensive skills in head and neck reconstructive surgery to remove tumors while also restoring your appearance. If you develop symptoms of cancer, don’t wait to schedule an appointment; call or use the online booking feature.

Head and Neck Cancer Q & A

What are the different types of head and neck cancer?

Head and neck cancers affect your mouth, throat, nose, sinuses, and larynx (voice box). There are five primary types:

Oral and oropharyngeal cancer

Oral and oropharyngeal cancers include tumors that develop in your mouth, throat, soft palate, and the base of your tongue.

Salivary gland cancer

You have hundreds of small salivary glands in your mouth, but most cancers occur in one of the three pairs of large or primary glands. The most common type affects the parotid glands located in front of your ears.

Nasopharyngeal cancer

Nasopharyngeal cancers grow in the air passageway behind your nose in the upper part of your throat.

Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer

These cancers most often arise in the mucus-producing tissues that line your nasal cavity and sinuses. However, this type of cancer can also develop in the muscles, cartilage, bone, and nerves.

Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer

This type of cancer affects your larynx (voice box) and hypopharynx, which is the structure that stops food from entering the larynx.

What symptoms develop if I have head or neck cancer?

You may not notice any symptoms in the early stages of head or neck cancer. As the tumor grows, you may experience:

  • Lump or swelling in your mouth, cheek, neck, or jaw, with or without pain
  • Growth or non-healing sore in your mouth
  • Red or white spots or patches in your mouth
  • Persistent nasal congestion
  • Frequent nose bleeds or nasal discharge
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Foul mouth odor
  • Jaw pain
  • Ear pain
  • Loose teeth

Head and neck cancers are curable when treated at an early stage, so don’t ignore these symptoms; schedule an appointment at Southern ENT & Sinus Center.

How are head and neck cancers treated?

Your treatment depends on the type and stage of your cancer, the tumor’s location, and your overall health. Whenever possible, the team at Southern ENT & Sinus Center performs surgery to remove the tumor, as well as lymph nodes.

If your cancer has spread and requires extensive tissue removal, your specialist at Southern ENT & Sinus Center performs reconstructive surgery.

After surgery, your cancer team may recommend radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy. If surgery isn’t a good option, you can also receive radiation therapy as your primary treatment.

Immunotherapy is one of the newest treatment options for head and neck cancer. This type of treatment uses medications that boost your immune system, helping it to fight the cancer.

You receive compassionate treatment for head and neck cancer at Southern ENT & Sinus Center. Call or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.