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Diagnosis / Head and Neck Tumors

Head and Neck Tumors

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.

Cancers of the head and neck are further categorized by the area of the head or neck in which they begin. These areas are listed below:

  • Oral Cavity
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Paranasal Sinuses and Nasal Cavity
  • Salivary Glands

What are the Symptoms of 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. These symptoms may also be caused by other, less serious conditions.

Symptoms that may affect specific areas of the head and neck include the following:

Oral Cavity

  • a white or red patch on the gums, the tongue, or lining of the mouth; a swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly; and unusual bleeding or pain in the mouth.

Pharynx

  • trouble breathing or speaking; pain when swallowing; pain in the neck or throat that does not go away; frequent headaches, pain, or ringing in the ears; or trouble hearing.

Larynx

  • pain when swallowing 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; bleeding through the nose; frequent headaches, swelling or other trouble with the eyes; pain in the upper teeth

Salivary Glands

  • swelling under the chin or around the jawbone, numbness or paralysis of the muscles in the face, or pain the face, the chin, or the neck that does not go away.

How are Head and Neck Tumors Diagnosed?

The exams and tests ordered by your doctor will vary depending on the symptoms. A biopsy is always necessary to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.

If the diagnosis is cancer, your doctor will want to understand the stage or extent of the disease. Staging is an attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Staging may involve x-rays and other imaging procedures and lab tests. Knowing the stage of the disease will help your doctor determine the appropriate treatment plan.

 

IVC’s Treatment for Head and Neck Tumors

The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the person’s age and general health. Treatment for head and neck cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of treatments.

At IVC, we offer minimally invasive catheter directed techniques; embolization is used to reduce blood loss during tumor resection and improve the chances of complete tumor removal and intra-arterial chemotherapy delivers targeted chemotherapy to the site of the tumor.

For more information on neuroendovascular treatments or to make an appointment for a consultation, please call IVC at 503-612-0498.

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