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Expert Care for Head & Neck Cancer in Arizona

Dignity Health’s Head and Neck Cancer Program at the Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of all types and stages of head and neck cancer in Arizona. 

Head and neck cancers make up about three percent of all cancer cases in the US. Most head and neck cancers begin in the linings of the nose, mouth, and throat. 

The most common types of head and neck cancer include: 

  • Oral cavity cancer
  • Sinus cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Ear and temporal bone cancer
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Thyroid and parathyroid cancer
  • Larynx (voice box) cancer

To learn more about diagnosis and treatment for these types of cancer, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health.


Head & Neck Cancer Symptoms

While most cancers usually have no recognizable symptoms early on, head and neck cancers often have very noticeable and obvious signs. This can very helpful for detecting and treating the cancer, before it spreads.

The symptoms of head and neck cancer include: 

  • Changes in your voice or hoarseness that persists
  • Problems with swallowing or speaking
  • Blocked sinuses
  • White or red patches on the gums
  • Sore throat that persists
  • Nosebleeds or unusual bleeding in the mouth
  • Sore or lump that does not heal
  • Frequent sinus infections that do not respond to treatment
  • Frequent headaches or pain in the upper teeth
  • Swelling in the eyes, jaw, or below the chin
  • Numbness or difficulty using muscles in the face

If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, meet with an oncologist at Dignity Health for a proper diagnosis.


Head & Neck Cancer Causes

Researchers understand that certain risk factors are associated with the development of head and neck cancers. These include:

  • Using tobacco — plays a role in 85 percent of head and neck cancers
  • Age — being over 40
  • African American race
  • Male gender
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Weakened immune system
  • Frequent and heavy use of alcohol
  • Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) or Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun
  • Use of marijuana


Head & Neck Cancer Treatment at Dignity Health

For many cancers of the head or neck, doctors at Dignity Health often use a combination of therapies to produce effective outcomes. Depending on the type, stage, and location of the tumor, treatment for head and neck cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy.

Dignity Health is committed to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for all forms of head and neck cancer in Arizona, as part of our comprehensive oncology services.