Neck cancer is the growth of cancerous cells in the neck region like mouth, nose and throat. Any type of cancer in these parts will be classified under neck cancer. The mucosal cells of the skin and the underlying tissues are always moist and they normally look scaly when observed in a microscope. Due to the size of the structure, they are called squamous cells. When there is cancerous growth on squamous cells they give rise to neck cancer.
There are several types of neck cancer based on the area in which it is formed.
Oral cavity cancer may develop on the lips, cheeks, tongue and inside mouth.
Salivary glands cancer is the one that attacks salivary glands that secretes saliva. There may be cancerous growth on paranasal cavity, pharynx, nasopharynx and hypopharnyx and also on voicebox called larynx.
Tobacco chewing and smoking are considered as the main cause for neck cancer. Drinking alcohol is also a risk factor affecting oropharynx, and larynx. About 85% of people who have neck cancer are related to smoking habit and drinking.
Exposure to hot sunlight can also affect the oral cavity causing HPV infection. Sometimes, taking radiation therapy for other disorders may affect salivary glands and nasal cavity. Environmental factors like exposure to pollutants, dust and irritants can also affect nasal cavity and cause sinus. Lack of dental hygiene may affect oropharynx and nutritional deficiencies can cause cancer in hypopharynx.
You can see a lump or lesion like growth which does not heal even after long time on the affected person. There may be sore throat that does not respond to any medicine and may create hoarseness in voice. Whitish red patches are seen on the gums, lining of mouth and in some cases, there can be bleeding in the mouth.
Some people may have chronic sinus infection that are not fixed with antibiotics, nose bleeding, headache, swelling in eyes, vision problem and pain in the teeth. The jawbone may develop inflammation and there can be numbness in the facial muscles. Many persons complain of having difficulty in swallowing and drinking due to soar throat and pain in the neck.
Physical examination, endoscopy, laboratory test like blood test, urine test and other routine are done. In addition, CT scan, PET scan and MRI will be done for getting clear picture of the intensity of the disease.
Pictures of Neck cancer :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Neck cancer
There are several options of treating neck cancer.
Before selecting the right method, your doctor will consider factors like age, general health condition, intensity of illness and location of tumor and how far the cancer has advanced.
Surgery is done for removing tumors of small to medium size and also for the removal of affected lymph nodes. The patient will undergo radiation therapy after surgery. This can create side effects and difficulty in swallowing and talking. There may be moderate to severe inflammation on the neck region.
After removing larynx, there may be numbness in the throat and stiffness in shoulder.
Radiation therapy involves passing of high energy X-rays to destroy cancerous cells in the area.
Chemotherapy is the method based on treating the patient with potential anticancer medicines. This can be given orally or by injection. This has some side effects like mouth sores, hair loss, nausea and vomiting.