Head & Neck Cancer

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What it is?

There are various types of head and neck surgeries.

Nasopharynx is a very small area of the Head & Neck area in between our eyes and above the nasal cavity. Due to its proximity to vital nerves and subsites like eyes, visual pathway nerves,. Nasopharyngeal Cancer is a cancer that starts in the nasopharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose and near the base of skull.

‘Paranasal’ means near the nose. The paranasal sinuses are hollow, air-filled spaces in the bones around the nose. Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity.

Lip and Oral Cavity (Tongue/Floor of mouth/Palate/ Gums/Cheek/Teeth) is one of the important sub site of Head & Neck and is of vital importance as it forms the inlet for our body and responsible for all our nutrition/ taste/ phonation, etc. Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the lip or mouth. The oral cavity includes the front two thirds of the tongue, the upper and lower gums (the gingiva), the lining of the inside of the cheeks and lips (the buccal mucosa), the bottom (floor) of the mouth under the tongue, the bony top of the mouth (the hard palate) and the small area behind the wisdom teeth (the retromolar trigone).

Lip and Oral Cavity (Tongue/Floor of mouth/Palate/ Gums/Cheek/Teeth) is one of the important sub site of Head & Neck and is of vital importance as it forms the inlet for our body and responsible for all our nutrition/ taste/ phonation, etc. Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the lip or mouth. The oral cavity includes the front two thirds of the tongue, the upper and lower gums (the gingiva), the lining of the inside of the cheeks and lips (the buccal mucosa), the bottom (floor) of the mouth under the tongue, the bony top of the mouth (the hard palate) and the small area behind the wisdom teeth (the retromolar trigone).

Oropharynx is an area that connects Oral Cavity to the upper part of the Neck and forms a small pouch carrying important subsites of Head & Neck. Oropharyngeal Cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissue of oropharynx.

Larynx or the Voice Box is one of the most important site of Head & Neck area and helps in phonation. These cancers generally present early due to early change in voice, apart from other common generalised cancer symptoms. Cancer that forms in tissues of the larynx (area of the throat that contains the vocal cords and is used for breathing, swallowing and talking). Most Laryngeal Cancers are Squamous Cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the Larynx).

Hypopharyngeal area of Head & Neck is a small area which forms a common junction of the food pipe and wind pipe in the body. Smoking, like Lung Cancer, can cause Hypopharyngeal Cancer because it contains carcinogens that alter the DNA or RNA in a dividing cell. Chewing tobacco can have the same effects as smoking and is also linked to Hypopharyngeal Cancer. Heavy alcohol use is linked to Hypopharyngeal Cancer as well.

There can be situations where patient present with Neck Nodes, but no primary focus of the disease in Head & Neck region even after through investigations from all possible modalities. Metastatic Squamous cells are thin, flat cells found in tissues that form the surface of the skin and the lining of body cavities such as the mouth, hollow organs such as the uterus and blood vessels and the lining of the respiratory (breathing) and digestive tracts. Some organs with squamous cells are the esophagus, lungs, kidneys and uterus. Cancer can begin in squamous cells anywhere in the body and metastasize (spread) through the blood or lymph system to other parts of the body.

Parathyroid Cancer is a malignant (cancerous) growth in a parathyroid gland. This type of cancer is primarily caused by Hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and may affect various parts of the body. People who had head or neck radiation may also be at increased risk. Such radiation exposure, however, is more often connected with Thyroid Cancer.

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