About three percent of all cancer cases in the US are head and neck cancers. Most start in the cells of the mucous membranes, or moist lining, of the nose, mouth, and throat.
Types of head and neck cancer include:
- Ear and temporal bone cancer
- Larynx (voice box) cancer
- Sinus cancer
- Throat cancer
- Oral cavity cancer
- Salivary gland cancer
- Thyroid and parathyroid cancer
Trust your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery for head and neck cancer in Stockton and the surrounding areas to the expert team at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute. Find a Doctor to learn more about the exceptional care we offer our cancer patients, including our nurse navigator program and multidisciplinary approach.
Head & Neck Cancer Symptoms
Unlike some other cancers, head and neck cancers tend to cause symptoms early in the disease. This improves early detection and is the key to successful treatment.
Symptoms of head and neck cancer include:
- Blocked sinuses
- Change in your voice or hoarseness that persists
- White or red patches on the gums
- Difficulty or pain with swallowing or speaking
- Frequent sinus infections that do not get better with treatment
- Nosebleeds or unusual bleeding in the mouth
- Numbness or difficulty using the face muscles
- Ringing in the ears, trouble hearing, or ear pain
- Sore throat that persists
- Lump or sore that does not heal
- Frequent headaches or pain in the upper teeth
- Swelling of the jaw, eyes, or under the chin
It’s important to keep in mind that these symptoms could be signs of other, less serious conditions. However, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor at Dignity Health to get an accurate diagnosis.
Causes of Head & Neck Cancer
Health experts have identified some risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing head and neck cancer. Tobacco use in any form is the biggest one, playing a role in 85 percent of cases.
Other risk factors include:
- African American race
- Age older than 40
- Male gender
- Frequent and heavy alcohol use
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Prolonged sun exposure
- Poor nutrition
- Poor oral hygiene
- Marijuana use
- Weakened immune system
- Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) or Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
Trusted Treatment of Head & Neck Cancer at Dignity Health
Your head and neck cancer treatment options depend on the specific cancer, as well as its location and stage. A combination of therapies often yields the best outcome. Using the latest methods, treatment options at Dignity Health include:
Prevention strategies focus on changing risk factors under your control. Stopping smoking is the most important step you can take to reduce your risk of head and neck cancer.
St. Joseph's Cancer Institute offers advanced treatment for head and neck cancer in the Stockton region.