According to the National Cancer Institute, tens of thousands of people receive diagnoses of head and neck cancer in the US annually. The condition is more likely to appear in males and people over 60, but it can occur in anyone. Recognizing the symptoms and getting the proper diagnosis by an ENT Utah specialist is paramount to ensuring a full recovery.
Medical experts define cancer as a condition that involves the spontaneous abnormal growth of cells. In many cases, tumors form, and they can be malignant or benign. A wealth of factors can contribute to cancer development. These include:
Individuals with a family history of cancer are at a higher risk for its development than others. Such people should schedule regular testing so that the practitioner can spot the early signs if they develop.
Tobacco smoking has been associated with causing cancer for many years. Tar, formaldehyde, beryllium, and other carcinogens can put smokers at significant risk of developing it in the lungs, throat, and other areas.
Excessive alcohol consumption can upset the body's processes as well.
Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays can aid cancer development, but sunscreens and blocks can help combat it.
A severe vitamin and mineral deficiency can put the body at risk of developing abnormalities. Thus, high-risk individuals should have a specialist watch their levels regularly.
Toxic items like asbestos and coal mine dust can contribute to cancerous growth.
Certain infections like the human papillomavirus can cause cancers to grow in the cervical areas or uterus.
Any of the above factors can cause genetic mutations that produce cancerous growth. The list is not conclusive, however.
Head and neck cancers generally develop in the throat, nose, and sinus areas. Head and neck tumor treatment is often necessary to stop its progression. Some of the most common signs of this form of cancer include:
Sore throats usually develop because of viruses, voice strains, and irritants. However, a sore throat that lasts for more than several weeks could signify head and neck cancer.
Coughs can result from common colds, allergic reactions, asthmatic episodes, or dry air. However, a persistent cough accompanied by a sore throat that lasts a long time may signify cancer.
Tumors can appear as painful or painless lumps in the throat, neck, nasal passages, or outside nasal areas. A specialist will need to examine the growth to see if it requires head and neck tumor treatment.
Voices generally differ in the morning and normalize within hours of waking, and they also change throughout a person's aging process. Extreme voice changes that include hoarseness might be a cause for a cancer examination, however.
Weight loss that occurs without a change in diet or vigorous exercise program could be a sign of cancer.
Head and neck cancer might manifest as difficulty swallowing or eating.
Cancer sometimes causes white patches to appear on the tongue's surface. It may also cause bad breath that doesn't resolve with meticulous hygienic practices.
Nose bleeds unrelated to allergic reactions or dry air may be a cause for concern.
Visiting a reliable practitioner to get a head and neck cancer diagnosis can help to combat its progression or completely reverse it. You will have to go through testing using the newest technology and diagnostic processes. The specialist may take a small piece of tissue to examine it for abnormal growth. This procedure is called a biopsy.
Bone scans, blood tests, X-rays, and ultrasounds are additional tests that might be necessary to get the full picture. Scheduling your appointment now instead of later can make a huge difference to your recovery.
You will need to connect with a compassionate, empathetic, and skilled ENT provider who wants to fortify you with the tools necessary to complete your wellness journey as a survivor. You will discuss your symptoms and concerns during your consultation, and the doctor will develop a suitable head and neck tumor treatment plan upon receiving your test results.
ENT Utah is a proud member of the American Board of Otolaryngology and has been an established provider for 50 years. You can reach out to the office and have complete confidence in the specialist's ability to diagnose and treat your condition. The providers are waiting to guide you through the storm.