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Head And Neck Cancers Specialist

HUNTERDON HEMATOLOGY ONCOLOGY, LLC

Board Certified Medical Oncologists & Medical Oncology and Hematology Specialists located in Flemington, NJ

Head and neck cancers affect the soft tissues in your mouth, throat, and nose. If you have cancer in your head or neck, the highly skilled team at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC, in Flemington, New Jersey, can help. Their expert oncology team uses innovative new treatments like targeted therapies and immunotherapy in addition to radiation therapy and chemotherapy to treat head and neck cancers. Call Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC, today to find out more or schedule an appointment using the online form.

Head and Neck Cancers Q & A

What are head and neck cancers?

Head and neck cancers most often originate in the squamous cells lining the insides of your mouth, nose, sinuses, and throat.

Types of head and neck cancers include:

  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • Hypopharyngeal cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Lip and oral cavity cancer
  • Metastatic squamous neck cancer with occult primary
  • Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer

While head and neck cancers can also develop in your salivary glands, this is far less common than squamous cell carcinomas. 

What causes head and neck cancers?

The primary risk factors for developing head and neck cancers are alcohol consumption and tobacco products, with 75% or more of squamous cell carcinomas developing as a direct result of these two habits.

Chewing tobacco and snuff are responsible for head and neck cancer, as well as smoking. If you use tobacco and drink alcohol, the risk is even higher. However, alcohol and tobacco aren't risk factors for salivary gland cancers.

Other potential risk factors for head and neck cancers include:

  • Preserved or salted foods
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Missing teeth
  • Industrial exposure to wood dust and other substances
  • Radiation exposure
  • Paan (betel leaves)
  • Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus

Infection with several strains of the human papillomavirus (especially HPV16) is a risk factor for certain head and neck cancers. HPV is most likely to cause oropharyngeal cancers involving your tonsils or the base of your tongue.

What symptoms do head and neck cancers cause?

Symptoms of head and neck cancers might include:

  • Chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Change in your voice
  • A lump or swelling
  • Unusual bleeding or pain in your mouth
  • Ear pain
  • Treatment-resistant sinus infections
  • A sore that doesn't heal
  • Bleeding through your nose
  • Frequent headaches

You might also notice white or red patches on your gums, mouth lining, or tongue.

These symptoms could also be due to numerous other conditions, many of them minor, so it's important to get a prompt, accurate diagnosis.

What treatments are there for head and neck cancers?

Treatment for most head and neck cancers involves a combination of approaches, including:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy

The Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC team prepares a treatment program for you that takes into account the type of head and neck cancer and how advanced it is, as well as your current health and age. 

Their cancer center offers radiation oncology treatments in the same building as the infusion suite, ensuring you receive comprehensive care in the most convenient way.

There are currently open clinical trials for patients with head and neck cancer running at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC that you might consider joining if you get a positive diagnosis.

To find out more about head and neck cancers and the clinical trials you might be eligible for, call Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC, today or book an appointment online.