More than 5 lakh cases of Head and Neck cancer will be diagnosed in 2019 - Make Sense Campaign
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Dr. Tejinder Singh

Head and Neck Cancer Awareness month was observed throughout the month of April which promoted a high volume of screenings all over the world, plus educational talks and other awareness programmes.

In 2019, it is believed that more than 5 lakh new cases of head and neck cancer will be diagnosed worldwide and around 3 lakh deaths will result from this form of cancer.

Head and neck cancer refer to different types of cancers including those that arise in the oral cavity (mouth), pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), sinuses, nasal cavity or salivary glands. It is more common among men than women.

Mostly, oral cancers arise on the tongue, lips or floor of the mouth. They may also occur inside the cheeks, the roof of the mouth or gums. Oropharyngeal cancers often occur on the base of the tongue or in tonsils. Other types occur on the salivary glands, larynx (voice box) or throat.

Early signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer include:

  • Lump in the neck
  • Sore throat
  • Changes in voice
  • Earache
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • A white or red spot in the mouth that does not disappear

People consuming both tobacco and alcohol are at a greater risk of developing this cancer. Rising incidence of head and neck cancer has also been associated with HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infections.

Traditional methods like surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can be used for the treatment of this cancer. Nowadays, advanced therapies like targeted therapy can be used along with traditional therapies for better results.


The article is written by Dr Tejinder Singh, Consultant at Apollo Hospital, Belapur CBD, Fortis Mulund and DY Patil Hospital, Nerul, Navi Mumbai