Head and Neck Cancer Specialists in Brevard County
Head and neck cancer is a general term referring to several different types of cancer that originate in this region of the body, including the larynx (voice box), hypopharynx, throat, lips, mouth, nose, and salivary glands.
Most Common Types of Head and Neck Cancer
Other Types of Head & Neck Cancer
Paranasal Sinuses and Nasal Cavity
The paranasal sinuses are small hollow spaces in the bones of the head around the nose. The nasal cavity is the hollow space inside the nose. Different cell types live in this area of the head that may become malignant. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer.
The major salivary glands are on the floor of the mouth and near the jawbone. The salivary glands produce saliva. Salivary glands contain many different types of cells that can become cancerous, so there are many different types of salivary gland cancer.
The nasopharynx is a box-like passageway located behind the nose in the upper part of the throat just above the roof of the mouth. This allows air to go through the nose into the windpipe and through to the lungs. This type of head and neck cancer is categorized when malignant cells form in the tissues of the nasopharynx.
The oropharynx is the middle part of the throat that includes the back third of the tongue, soft palate, and the side and back walls of the throat and tonsils. This type of head and neck cancer develops when malignant cells form in the oropharynx’s tissues.
Understanding Head and Neck Cancers
Our head and neck cancer specialists are dedicated to helping patients throughout Brevard County - including Melbourne, Palm Bay, and Merritt Island, Florida.
Take a look at the information here to better understand head and neck cancers.
Risk Factors for Developing Head & Neck Cancers
Although there is no way to prevent head and neck cancer from developing completely, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors so that you may be able to lower your risk.
Signs and Symptoms of Head & Neck Cancers
The ears, nose, and throat are the most common areas affected by cancers in the head and neck. Symptoms typically depend on where the cancer develops and how it spreads.
How are Head & Neck Cancers Diagnosed?
Oftentimes, head and neck cancers are detected through a physical exam when patients go to their doctor or dentist to treat a symptom caused by the cancer not realizing it was cancer. Additional testing may be needed to further determine the type of head and neck cancer present.
Staging Head & Neck Cancers
Determining the stage of the head and neck cancer helps oncologists learn more about the extent of the disease and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Learn about head and neck cancer stages and questions to ask your oncology team.
How is Head & Neck Cancer Treated?
Treatment for head and neck cancers can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy. Our cancer specialists work with you to create an individual treatment plan that works best for each patient based on the type of head or neck cancer, the location and stage of the tumor, the patient’s age, and general health.
Head and Neck Cancer Risk Factors
Tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) can increase the risk of many types of head and neck cancer. Knowing the risk factors and consulting with your doctor about them may help you make more informed choices about your lifestyle and health care.
Signs and Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancers
Some common signs and symptoms can include:
A lump or sore in the nose, neck, or throat that does not heal or go away
Difficulty and/or pain when swallowing
Trouble breathing or speaking
Change or hoarseness in the voice that isn’t related to a virus (ie, cold or flu) or bacterial infection (ie, strep throat)
Swelling of the jaw
Chronic blocked sinuses or sinus infections
White or red patches on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth
Ear pain, trouble hearing, and/or ringing in the ears not related to a common ear infection
Keep in mind that many of these symptoms can occur even if there is no cancer present. In many cases, they are due to some other condition. However, this cannot be confirmed without an examination. If you experience these symptoms–especially if they recur or persist for more than two weeks – see your doctor or your dentist if the concern is inside of your mouth.
Find Head and Neck Cancer Care in Brevard County
Cancer Care Centers of Brevard offer a team-oriented approach to providing patients with the best possible care. Our care team is eager to explain the facts and answer questions at every step along the way. If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of a head and neck cancer and are seeking treatment or a second opinion in the Brevard County area, request an appointment with one of our oncologists.