Head & Neck Cancer Treatment in Tampa Bay
What is Head & Neck Cancer?
Head and neck cancers most often begin in the squamous cells lining the mucosal surfaces of the head and neck including the nose, mouth, and throat, and are commonly referred to as squamous cell carcinomas. Head and neck cancers can also occur in the sinuses, salivary glands, or nerves and muscles of the head and neck, but these are much less common than squamous cell carcinomas. Head and neck cancer is twice as common in men than in women and is found more often in men over the age of 50. It accounts for approximately 3 to 5 percent of all cancers in the United States.
What causes Head & Neck Cancer?
The most significant contributors to head and neck cancers of the oral cavity, hypopharynx, and voice box are tobacco and alcohol use. People who use both alcohol and tobacco, including smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, or who use chewing tobacco or snuff for extended periods of time are at greater risk of developing squamous cell carcinomas. The presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the risk of cancers in the tonsils or the base of the tongue, and occupational exposure to wood dust, asbestos, synthetic fibers, and chemicals may also be a factor in developing head and neck cancers of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity.
What are the symptoms of Head & Neck Cancer?
Symptoms of head and neck cancer may include a lump in the neck, swelling of the jaw, a sore in the on the gums, tongue, lining of the mouth or throat that does not heal and may be painful, a sore throat that won’t go away, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or a change or graveliness in the voice that lasts for a long period of time. These symptoms, however, may also be caused by other, less serious conditions, so it’s important to have any of these symptoms checked by a dentist or a doctor, such as one of the specialists at Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology.
Treatment of Head & Neck Cancer
Treatment for head and neck cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of treatments. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology offers multiple treatment options for head and neck cancer, such as high dose radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, brachytherapy, and treatment with CyberKnife. Radiation therapy usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time at one of our convenient, free-standing Tampa Bay Area locations. Radiation therapy alone may help cure the disease or lessen the symptoms, or it may be used with other types of treatment, such as surgery or chemotherapy. Your treatment plan will depend on several factors, including the location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, your age and general health, as well as your individual needs and preferences.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about head and neck cancer and head and neck cancer treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple free-standing locations in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa and Brandon.