Head and Neck Cancer Surgery

Remember that successful treatment of head and neck cancers depends on early detection. Knowing some warning signs can save your life in head and neck cancer.

What are the warning signs?

swelling in the neck

Head and neck cancers usually spread to the lymph nodes in the neck before spreading anywhere else in the body. Swelling on the neck that does not go away for more than 2 weeks should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Swelling or swellings can be the first sign of mouth, larynx, thyroid cancer, some lymph cancers and blood cancer. Such swellings are usually painless and tend to get larger.

voice change

Many laryngeal cancers cause voice changes. Hoarseness or voice changes lasting more than 2 weeks should alert you. An otolaryngologist and head and neck specialist; can examine your vocal cords with easy and painless methods. Even if the cause of every voice change is not cancer, you should not leave it to chance. If your hoarseness lasts longer than 2 weeks, you should make sure that you do not have laryngeal cancer and go to your doctor.

Soreness of the tongue, oral cavity or lip

Most tongue and lip cancers cause persistent sores and swelling. Wounds and swellings are painless unless they become inflamed. Although bleeding may occur, it is often not seen until the advanced stages of the disease. This is extremely important if the wound or swelling accompanies a mass in the neck.

Bleeding

This is often due to a cause other than cancer. However, mouth, nose, throat and lung tumors can cause bleeding. If bleeding occurs in saliva or sputum for more than a few days, you should see a doctor.

swallowing problems

Throat and esophageal cancers make it difficult to swallow solid foods and sometimes liquids. At a certain point, the food feels stinging and either goes into the stomach or comes back through the mouth. In this case, you should consult a doctor. The cause is usually revealed by direct examination of the esophagus through an X-ray barium swallow film or a swallowed tube.

Changes in the skin

Skin cancer, which is very common in the head and neck, responds well to early treatment. It is most common in areas where the skin is exposed to the sun, such as the forehead, face, and ears, but it can occur anywhere on the skin. Skin cancer often starts as a small pale sore that grows slowly and has a scar in the middle. Color changes are seen in some skin cancers.

Other types of cancer seen in the head and neck include; squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Some of the squamous cell cancers are seen in the lower lip and ear. It is similar to skin cancer and usually does not become more dangerous if detected early and treated appropriately. If there is a non-healing wound on the lip, face or ear, pay attention.

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