HEAD & NECK SPECIALISTS
Head and neck cancer accounts for about 4% of all cancers in the United States. In 2020, an estimated 65,630 people
(48,200 men and 17,430 women) will develop head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancers are also diagnosed more
often among people over age 50 than they are among younger people
Head and Neck Cancers
To find the cause of the signs or symptoms of a problem in the head and neck area, Dr Madasu evaluates a person’s medical history, performs a physical examination, and orders diagnostic tests. The exams and tests may vary depending on the symptoms. Examination of a sample of tissue under a microscope is always necessary to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.
If the diagnosis is cancer, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of disease. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Staging may involve an examination under anesthesia (in an operating room), x-rays and other imaging procedures, and laboratory tests. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.
Cancers that are known collectively as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). These squamous cell cancers are often referred to as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Head and neck cancers can also begin in the salivary glands, but salivary gland cancers are relatively uncommon. Salivary glands contain many different types of cells that can become cancerous, so there are many different types of salivary gland cancer.
Cancers of the head and neck are further categorized by the area of the head or neck in which they begin.
- Oral cavity
- Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity
- Salivary glands