Head and Neck Cancer Side Effects, Therapy, Symptoms

Head and Neck Cancer: Risk Factors and Treatment

Head and neck cancer ranks sixth among cancers worldwide. This cancer occurs in the part from our nose to throat. Today we will know the answers to every question related to this cancer from radio oncologist Dr. Triranjan Basu. 

What are head and neck cancer and its early symptoms?

Head and neck cancer usually affects the area from the brain to the neck. In medical language, these areas are called head and neck. When there is any problem at any place from our nose to throat and it remains for a long time, then it is counted in head and neck cancer. Any kind of wound in the mouth , teeth touching the tongue, change in voice, difficulty in eating food, sore throat while drinking water are some of the common symptoms of this cancer. Even if you feel any kind of lump in the throat, it is very important to consult a doctor.

What are the risk factors for head and neck cancer?

Generally, this cancer affects more people who consume tobacco , bidi, cigarette and alcohol. Blisters grow in our mouth due to the consumption of betel nut, when it starts happening again and again, it can give birth to cancer. Human papillomavirus is also one of the reasons for this. 

How is head and neck cancer treated?

If head and neck cancer is detected at an early stage, then surgery is done after biopsy . When we come to know about this disease at two to three stages, then chemotherapy and radiation are given. Chemo is given initially to make the disease a little less severe. After which surgery is done, then chemotherapy and radiation therapy are given again. In some other parts, such as our voice box, if it is in the first stage there, it can be cured with the help of radiation. If understood in simple language, it is treated by a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and by any one procedure in the early stage.

What are the possible side effects of head and neck cancer treatment?

What is the treatment of cancer and its process are the major factors of its side effects. As after surgery that part is usually removed, in such a way the part which used to work in our body, obviously that work will stop now. On the other hand, dryness in the mouth, change in the taste of food, difficulty in swallowing are some of the possible side effects in patients after radiation and chemotherapy, although these do not last long. 

What precautions should be taken by the patient after the treatment?

Head and neck cancer cannot be treated by a single person. Along with this, there is also a need for occupational therapy. In which there are many changes in the patient’s life after treatment, which is very important to know about. If your mouth does not open properly after surgery, then you are taught by giving therapy. Sometimes food is given through a tube, so it is important to learn about this process. It is very important to know what kind of food to eat. It is important to know how we gradually return to our normal lifestyle after treatment. Through therapy, you are taught exercise, choking on food, all this. 

Which stage of head and neck cancer is the most dangerous?

If any cancer disease is caught in the first and second stage, then it can be cured by only one treatment process. The patient can be cured even in stage three and four. If the patient’s fourth stage is 4A, then 60 to 70 percent people can be cured with the help of surgery and chemo in the right way. About 70 to 80 percent people can be cured in the initial stage. Whereas in the third and fourth stage, 30 to 40 percent people can be cured, and they can live for a long time. 

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