Etiological factors in head and neck cancers differ according to the habits, living conditions and genetic characteristics of the person. The contribution of smoking is quite high in Head and Neck cancers. Cancers localized in the Head and Neck region can usually be noticed in the early period. However, early diagnosis is still possible if you notice possible early symptoms and inform your doctor about it. Do not forget that a complete and adequate treatment is only possible with early diagnosis. For this reason, you need to have regular ENT examinations and observe yourself frequently.
Early Diagnosis of Head and Neck Cancers
Regional Swellings: Swellings in the head and neck area lasting more than two weeks are frequently seen in regional cancers such as mouth, throat, larynx, saliva, and thyroid gland. However, it is usually the first finding. These swellings grow slowly and painlessly.
Hoarseness: Hoarseness may be the second most common symptom in laryngeal tumors. Cancer should not come to mind in every hoarseness. However, if this complaint exceeds two weeks and you see it in cases accompanied by shortness of breath, you should definitely be examined by an otolaryngologist.
Wound in the Mouth: Wounds or swellings in the mouth and tongue are often painless and can escape attention. However, it is one of the important symptoms in terms of cancer.
Bleeding: Blood mixing with saliva or blood can be for many reasons other than cancer. However, it can also be an early symptom of mouth, nose, sinüs, and lung cancers.
Swallowing Problems: In throat and esophageal cancers, the symptom of being stuck in solid or liquid foods may indicate this disease. You should inform your doctor about such a situation. Early diagnosis may be possible with barium esophageal X-ray or endoscopic evaluation.
What should you do?
When one or more of these symptoms listed above coexist, this does not necessarily mean that there are signs of cancer. However, determining whether they belong to cancer or not is only possible with the examination of an otolaryngologist. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the speed of recovery.
Head and Neck Cancers Treatment
The treatment plan may vary for each patient. The location of the tumor, its stage, the age of the patient, and the general health status are among the factors that determine the treatment plan. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or their double and triple combinations can be applied in the treatment.
The use of options may change with the physician’s experience, the wishes of the patient, and the solutions to the problems they may encounter. As a result, the process is carried out in mutual agreement and trust.