What is Neck Cancer? Neck cancer refers to cancers of the external tissues of the neck, rather than the internals of the neck such as throat cancer and esophageal cancer.
- Neck lump
- Neck pain
- Voice altered
- Haemoptysis, coughing up of blood or blood stained mucus from the bronchi, larynx, trachea or lungs.
- Dysphagia, is the medical term for difficulty in swallowing. Patients with difficulty in swallowing may find that liquids cause coughing or even choking, thickening the liquids helps them swallow safely.
- Skin Discolouration
- Pain in swallowing
- Ulcer in throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol consumption
- Human papillomavirus infection
- Who gets it? Men and Women over the age of 50 are more often diagnosed with head and neck cancers
- At least 75% of head and neck cancers are caused by alcohol and tobacco use.
A doctor will need to evaluate a patient's medical history, perform a physical exam, and will order diagnostic tests which will vary depending on the symptoms. To confirm a diagnosis of cancer, a biopsy of the tissue is required. If the diagnosis is cancer, the doctor will want to learn the stage of disease. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor create a treatment plan.
Depending on the stage of cancer the following treatments will be necessary or a combination of the treatments:
- Surgery to remove the tumor
- Radiation therapy