Beware of head and neck cancer - Make Sense Campaign
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Dr.Chitresh Aggarwal

Head and neck cancers are those affecting the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, larynx, and pharynx. They have become very common nowadays—the mortality rates are also quite high.

Other less common but relevant cancers in this category can be salivary gland cancers and nasopharyngeal cancers.
Alcohol and tobacco addiction and HPV infection are the most common causes. A patient presents with symptoms such as non-healing ulcer, white or red patches on the gum, neck swellings, difficulty swallowing, and a change in voice.

The treatment involves a team comprising a surgical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and a medical oncologist. The treatment is chosen depending on the site, stage, type, and co-morbidities of the cancer.

Remember that most of these cancers can be cured if treatment is initiated on time.

This article has been written by Dr.Chitresh Aggarwal, MD(Medicine),DNB(Medical Oncology), Consultant Medical Oncologist, Ivy Hospital, Sector 71, Mohali.