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The Ins and Outs of Head and Neck Cancer

This month, we would like to shine a spotlight on Head and Neck Cancers. Head and neck cancers account for approximately 4% of all cancers in the United States. Researchers estimated that more than 65,000 men and women in this country would be diagnosed with head and neck cancers in 2017. You can greatly reduce your risk of head and neck cancers by not using tobacco products, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, and avoiding indoor tanning beds.

Cancers related to the head and neck start in several places. Brain cancers or cancers of the eye are not included this category.

Cancers of the head and heck can start:

 

What causes Head and Neck Cancers?

There are two substances that greatly increase the risk of developing head and neck cancers:

Alcohol and Tobacco

All tobacco products including cigarette, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, snuff, betel quid) are linked to head and neck cancer. Drinking beer, wine, or liquor also raises the risk of getting cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box.

Other common risk factors include:

 

What are the symptoms of head and neck cancers?

Mouth symptoms:

Pharynx symptoms:

Layrnx (voice box)

Sinus/nasal cavity symptoms:

How to reduce risk of head and neck cancers:

If you are experiencing these symptoms, or if you want to talk to your doctor about reducing your risk for head and neck cancers, be sure to make an appointment with your Blue Hills doctor today!

 

Sources:

https://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/head-neck-fact-sheet

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/headneck/index.htm

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