Cancers of the head and neck constitute a broad array of cancers. The region harbors numerous organs that are not only essential of basic biologic functions, but also critical for a person’s appearance, expression and social interactions.
Cancers may arise from the oral cavity, tongue, tonsil, throat (including voice box), nasal areas, and salivary glands among other areas. Many cancers of the head and neck are associated with smoking and drinking, and some may be related to viruses, such as HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).
Depending on the site and pattern of spread of the cancer, tumors of the head and neck can cause structural deformations and impairment of such basic functions as swallowing and breathing. Moreover, various treatments used to treat cancers can induce added mutilations, thus worsening quality of life.
Cancers of the head and neck thus represent a challenge to manage. It often requires participation of a variety of professionals including surgeons, medical oncologists, dentists, and radiation oncologists.
Learn more about: Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancers.