All About Oral, Head and Neck Cancers

Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

According to a 2017 study of the American Cancer Society, it is estimated about 49,670 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.  And an estimated 9,700 people will die of these cancers. Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, soft and hard palate, sinuses and throat.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer:

  • A sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
  • Hoarseness, change in voice and or chronic sore throat
  • Pain in the ear
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Dramatic weight loss

What Are the Risk Factors?

Men are more at risk than women however, there has been a recent rise in cases of oropharyngeal cancer linked to the infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) in white men and women.

Additional risk factors include:

  • Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipe smoking
  • Chewing tobacco, users of dip and snuff
  • Heavy alcohol drinking
  • Excessive sun exposure, especially at a young age
  • Family history of cancer

These cancers are life threatening if not detected and treated early.

Routine Self and Dental Exams Are Important

Conducting routine self-exams are important. Check your lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, roof and floor of your mouth, back of your throat, lower jaw and feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes. As part of routine dental exams, your dentist should conduct a thorough oral exam.

Call an ENT immediately if you suspect or have any of the symptoms listed above.

How Are Oral, Head and Neck Cancers Treated?

These cancers are treated the same way other cancers are treated. Treatment includes surgery to remove the cancer/growth, radiation and or chemotherapy to destroy any cancer cells that are remaining.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month so there is no better time to schedule a medical oral examination.

ChicagoENT –Leaders in Head and Neck Disorders

ChicagoENT offers the expertise and experience of highly skilled and fellowship trained physicians.  It is the mission of ChicagoENT to provide you with the safest, most effective and minimally invasive surgical options available.

Finding new and better ways to treat our patients with head and neck cancer remains a top priority to Dr. Michael Friedman.  Dr. Friedman has published articles highlighting many new techniques for removing and treating head and neck cancers.

This is why more and more patients and physicians travel to ChicagoENT from across the globe for diagnoses, second opinions and advanced head and neck disease treatments.

To schedule your appointment with one of our multi-disciplinary teams of experts, please call us at 773.296.5500 or schedule online 24 hours a day, seven days a week-click here!