Cancers that begin at the inside walls of the mouth or the neck are known as Cancers of the head and neck. Salivary glands contain a lot of cells which could become cancerous and cause certain salivary gland cancers. These are also classified under the cancers of the head and neck.
These cancers develop in different areas in the head and are sometimes classified as such. Some of those areas are explained below:
These cancers can develop in the visible insides of the mouth. They could begin at the gums or at the tip of the tongue. They can also begin on the interior walls of the cheek or at the end of the jaws, where gums meet the cheek bones.
They can also be found at the top surface of the mouth, the upper jaw or at the bottom of the mouth, under the tongue. Lips are also a place where it might show up.
This hollow tube that starts from the end of nose that essentially functions as the pathway of air for the process of respiration. The cancer could begin and spread on the walls of the pharynx leading to throat cancer.
Larynx is small tube just beneath the pharynx. Also, called as the voicebox, larynx is responsible for our speech. It contains the vocal cord which vibrate to produce the sound, our voice. It also has small piece of tissue called epiglottis which acts as a valve to stop foor from entering the respiratory tract. Cancers can begin here too.
The small pockets of space inside the bones of the nose are known paranasal sinuses where sinus cancer begins.
The hollow space inside the nose is known as the nasal cavity. There are moist mucous surfaces here as like the rest of the inside walls and risks of the cancer developing stays.
Salivary glands are glands that are responsible for producing saliva, which helps with the digestion of food. These glands are found at the bottom of the mouth near jaw bones.
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Symptoms and signs of the head and neck cancers
The symptoms of head and neck cancers may include a lump or a sore that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty in swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice.
There are different signs and symptoms of the different cancers of the head and the neck and depends mostly on the areas affected, discussed in the previous subhead. All the symptoms that could be noticed by the patients is segregated as per the area of action for the convenience of understanding.
Oral Cavity: A white or Red patch on the gums, tongue or the inside lining of the cheeks. It may also cause swelling of gums making it very uncomfortable and also, unusual bleeding of the gums.
Pharynx : Trouble in breathing and speaking, also problem during swallowing, pain in the neck or the throat that wouldn’t go away. Problem in hearing and pain in the ears. Frequent ringing in ears.
Larynx : pain when swallowing food or ear pain.
Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. Sinuses that are blocked and do not clear; chronic sinus infections that do not respond to treatment with antibiotics; bleeding through the nose; frequent headaches, swelling or other trouble with the eyes; pain in the upper teeth; or problems with dentures.
Salivary glands. Swelling under the chin or around the jawbone, numbness or paralysis of the muscles in the face, or pain in the face, the chin, or the neck that does not go away.
If you see any of these symptoms in yourself or someone you love doesn’t necessarily mean you have any of these cancers. It could be signs of some other not so dangerous condition. But it is always a good idea to get yourself checked by a doctor frequently.
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