Thyroid, skin, larynx, lip and tongue cancers in the head and neck region are among the most common cancers lately for the mankind. Especially the increase in the incidence in recent years, cigarettes, alcohol consumption and industrial food consumption, as well as environmental pollution is shown as the most important factor. The most important point to draw attention to head and neck cancers can be treated with a success rate of 90 percent when caught in the early stage. There are 6 important symptoms that should be consulted to the physician without loss of time when it is noticed.
Swelling in the neck, hoarseness, ear pain, difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath people with complaints such as head and neck cancer experienced as soon as possible to consult a specialist. Diagnosis begins with a detailed ear, nose and throat and head and neck examination. Ultrasound, MR (magnetic resonance), tomography and PET imaging methods are also used to support and staging. However, the actual diagnosis can be made by biopsy. Apart from nasal cancers, the most important treatment in these people is surgical method. Nasal (nasopharyngeal) cancers mostly use radiotherapy. While surgery alone is sufficient in the early stage, surgery is used in advanced stage and then radiotherapy is used. Late treatment of head and neck cancers is quite challenging for both the person and the head and neck surgeon. The symptoms to be suspected are as follows;
Swelling on the neck
Although they don’t all indicate cancer, head and neck cancers should be suspected of painless swelling. Initially invisible to the eye and can be felt by hand, the swelling can grow rapidly in months depending on the stage and type of the disease. For this reason, it is important to have a swelling in the neck area not exceeding two weeks by a specialist as soon as possible.
Hoarseness and voice change
Influenza infection, an excessive strain of vocal cords, coughs that do not pass may be among the causes of hoarseness. However, hoarseness and voice changes lasting more than two weeks are important symptoms for laryngeal cancer. Especially people in the risk group should be careful about this issue. These voice changes, which do not have a certain character, can correct after cancer formation. Therefore, it can be misleading for people.
Permanent wound on lips and mouth
Tongue and lip cancers in the lips that can not heal abnormally can be seen. Wounds and swelling can be painless unless infection occurs. However, if the wound or swelling is accompanied by a mass in the neck, head and neck examination is recommended as soon as it increases the risk of cancer.
Throat and esophagus cancers make it difficult to swallow solid foods and sometimes liquids. Food sore throat and esophagus stinging sensation, nausea and re-emergence of foods in the mouth of the surely need to consult a physician. Ear pain, halitosis and swelling in the neck may accompany this condition in people who have difficulty swallowing.
Ear pain lasting more than 10 days with complaints, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or a neck swelling is seen in the ear and around the pain in the throat may be due to growing tumor or infection. The most important feature that distinguishes it from infection is the ongoing pain with fever. Expert opinion is needed to make differential diagnosis and provide early diagnosis in terms of head and neck cancers.