Head and neck cancer includes cancers of the mouth, nose, lymph nodes, sinuses, salivary glands, throat and neck, which account for about five percent of all cancers. Head and neck cancers are more common among people over age 50 and twice as common in men than women.

Tobacco and alcohol use are the two most important risk factors. 75% of head and neck cancers are caused by tobacco and alcohol use. However, when detected early, head and neck cancer is often curable. It can also be prevented easily through basic lifestyle changes.

Our ear, nose and throat specialists can provide testing to diagnose if you have cancer and treatment tailored to your needs which can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination.

Preventing Head and Neck Cancers

  • Take the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to prevent mouth and throat cancers
  • Reduce alcohol use
  • Reduce tobacco use including secondhand smoke

Symptoms of Head and Neck Tumors

  • A painless lump or swelling in the neck
  • A sore in the mouth that does not heal or that bleeds easily
  • A red or white patch in the mouth that doesn’t go away
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm for consecutive days
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
  • Hoarseness or a change in voice that lasts for two or more weeks
  • Nasal problems like frequent nosebleeds, ongoing nasal congestion or chronic sinus infections
  • Persistent pain in the neck, throat or ears
  • A persistent sore throat

Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Reconstruction of bones and other structures
  • Surgery
Why Choose Mercy Health?

Tumors and cancers in the head and the neck are often very treatable and curable. We know that to increase your chances at regaining your health, you want the best care possible. That’s why we provide treatment with the most advanced technology and compassionate care. At Mercy Health, we treat you like family. Our sole focus is to help you be well — in mind, body, and spirit. Find a specialist near you today.

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