Between 40,000 and 60,000 new cases of head and neck cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. Men are twice as likely as women to develop these types of cancer, usually between the ages of 45 and 70.
While head and neck cancer are potentially curable at any stage, early detection is vital. Unfortunately for many patients, early symptoms are often mistaken for other ailments of the mouth and throat by those that do not specialize in this area of medicine. The New York Otolaryngology Group’s comprehensive mix of specialists have the detailed training, depth of experience, and compassion required to detect these early symptoms and deliver exceptional care to patients in whom it is diagnosed.
What is Head and Neck Cancer?
Head and neck cancer refers to any cancer found in the oral cavity (the mouth area), the oropharynx (where the back of the mouth meets the throat), the pharynx (the aerodigestive tract from the oral cavity to the esophagus) or the larynx (the voice box).
The most common form of mouth and throat cancer is known as squamous cell carcinoma. In the head and neck, squamous cell cancer develops from the lining of the tissue, called the mucosa. In later stages of the disease, these tumors become invasive and can involve not only the soft tissues but also the jaw and other bones in this region. It is not uncommon for these cancers to spread regionally to the lymph nodes of the neck and sometimes even distantly to the lungs, bones, and other organs. Surgical procedures, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the most common treatment approaches to head and neck cancers, which may be curable. They may be used independently or in combination, whatever is most appropriate given the individual diagnosis.