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Head and Neck Oncology

Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer in Hyderabad

Some of the organs present in the head and neck region that are prone to cancer growth are salivary glands, skin, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, thyroid and parathyroid glands. The Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer in Hyderabad depends on the size and the location of the cancer. The common treatments suggested to the patients suffering from head and neck oncology comprises surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. 

The treatment can often have side effects on the patient, such as hearing loss, dental problems, thyroid problems, difficulty in eating and speaking. But the doctors take care of this by advising them to follow rehabilitation treatment where the specialists help them to cope and recover from the side effects.  

TYPES OF CANCER 

  • MOUTH CANCER 

Mouth cancer is a term used to refer to cancer that grows in any part of the human mouth. These parts can include lips, gums, tongue, the roof of the mouth, floor of the mouth, inner linings of the cheeks. Cancer cells that grow inside the mouth are also referred to as oral cavity cancer. 

SYMPTOMS

  • Ear pain
  • Mouth pain
  • Loose tooth
  • Difficulty while swallowing
  • lump inside the mouth
  • Patch of white or red colour inside the mouth

CAUSES

  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Weak immune system
  • Exposure of the lips to the sunlight for a long period of time
  • Tobacco consumption (cigarettes, cigars, pipes etc.)
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)

2. THROAT CANCER 

Throat cancer is the term used to refer to the growth of cancer cells in the pharynx (throat) or larynx (voice box). 

The human throat is a muscular throat that is connected to the neck via the nose. The growth of the throat cancer cells is most often found in the fat cells that are seen lined in the inside of our throat. The voice box that sits below the throat is also at risk of contracting throat cancer. 

SYMPTOMS

  • Ear pain

  • Sore throat

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Cough

  • Hoarseness in voice and difficulty in speaking

  • Difficulty while swallowing 

  • CAUSES

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Tobacco use 

  • Less intake of fruits and vegetables

  • Exposure to HPV (human papillomavirus)

3. TONSIL CANCER

Abnormal growth of cells in the tonsil can lead to tonsil cancer. It can result in difficulty while swallowing, often giving the sensation that something is caught in the throat. Tonsil cancers are hard to detect in the early stages of their growth. They are often diagnosed late in the disease when cancer has spread to other organs like the lymph nodes in the neck. 

The treatment suggested for tonsil cancers includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. 

SYMPTOMS

  • Ear pain

  • Difficulty while swallowing

  • Pain and swelling in the neck

CAUSES

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Tobacco use

  • Exposure to HPV (human papillomavirus)

4. SKIN CANCER 

The abnormal growth of cells in the skin leading to skin cancer is the result of excessive exposure of the skin to the sun. There are three types of skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. 

Skin cancer can develop in areas that are exposed to the sun, such as the scalp, face, lips, ears, chest, arms, hands etc. In rare cases, it can also be seen in areas that are not exposed to sunlight. 

The risk of skin cancer can be reduced by avoiding excessive exposure to UV radiation. 

  • SYMPTOMS FOR BASAL CELL CARCINOMA

This can be seen in areas exposed to the sun, like the face or the neck.  

  • Bleeding sore that can heal and return

  • Flesh coloured scar

  • A bump

SYMPTOMS FOR SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA

This type of cancer is seen in areas that are exposed to the UV radiations like the face, ears and hands.

  • A red nodule
  • A flat, scaly surface. 

SYMPTOMS FOR MELANOMA

This type of cancer can grow anywhere in the body. In men, it is found in areas such as the face or the trunk. In women, it is often found in the areas concerning the lower legs. 

  • Brownish spot with dark speckles

  • Itch or burn in the lesion

  • Lesions dark in colour are noticed on the palm, soles, fingertips, or toes. 

  • Changes in colour are found on the mole, which often bleeds. 

5. TONGUE CANCER 

The growth of tongue cancer is seen in the cells of the tongue. It mostly begins in the thin, flat squamous cells that line the surface of the tongue. 

Tongue cancer can occur in the mouth. This can be felt easily and can be diagnosed in the early stages for effective treatment.

Tongue cancer can also occur in the throat at the base of the tongue. In this case, the signs and symptoms can often go unnoticed and are usually diagnosed at the advanced stages when cancer has spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. 

The most common treatment suggested for tongue cancer is surgery, while radiation therapy and chemotherapy can also be recommended. 

6. SOFT PALATE CANCER 

Soft palate cancer grows in the cells of the soft palate, which is situated in the upper portion of the back of our mouth and behind our teeth. This cancer falls under the category of throat cancer and thus the treatment for this is similar to that of the throat cancer.

SYMPTOMS

  • Mouth pain

  • Bad breath

  • Loss in weight

  • Earache

  • Difficulty in swallowing

  • Sores in the mouth that won't heal

  • Swelling in the neck

  • White patches in the mouth

DIAGNOSIS 

The tests that are recommended for head and neck cancers usually depend on the type, location, age, general health and symptoms of cancer. Some of these tests include;

  • Physical examination, blood and urine tests are conducted. The doctor feels the lumps present on the neck, lips, cheeks or gums of the patient during the physical examination. Blood tests and urine tests help in diagnosing the presence of cancer. 

  • Another test that is usually carried out is the endoscopy. This allows the doctor to examine the inside of the body with the help of a thin tube that is inserted through the nose into the throat to the oesophagus. This helps in diagnosing the head and neck. The patients are injected with sedation in order to make them more relaxed and comfortable. 

  • A biopsy is another test that is carried out to diagnose the presence of cancer-causing cells. In this process, the doctor removes a small portion of the tissues, which is then examined by the pathologist in the laboratory. The common biopsy that is performed is the needle aspiration. In this process, a thin needle is used to collect cells directly from the tumour. 

  • A panoramic radiograph is also a test that is used to diagnose the presence of head and neck cancer. It is a rotating x-ray of the jawbones that helps in examining the teeth before other treatments are performed. It is also known as Ranorex. 

  • Ultrasound is performed that uses sound waves to get images of the internal organs.

  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses magnetic fields to create detailed images of the body. This procedure can help in diagnosing the size of the tumour. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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