More than 66,000 people in the US will develop head and neck cancer this year, according to the CDC. While head and neck cancer can happen to anyone, men are twice as likely to develop this form of cancer than women. One of the best ways to catch head and neck cancer early is to recognize warning signs and risk factors. If you’re concerned, an ENT doctor can help.
What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?
Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer:
- Tender red or white patches in the mouth
- A painful lump in the neck or mouth
- Persistent or recurring sore throats
- Hoarseness or other vocal changes
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
- Frequent nosebleeds, often on one side
- Ear pain
- Jaw pain
- Blood in saliva
- Unexplained and sudden weight loss
If any of these symptoms persist, it is important that you turn to your doctor right away for a proper diagnosis. While these symptoms may be a sign of head or neck cancer it’s also important to recognize that other conditions can cause some of these same symptoms. If you are worried that you might have cancer an ENT doctor can perform the proper tests to rule it out.
What can an otolaryngologist do for me?
An ENT doctor has received specialized training to be able to provide valuable insight and to create custom treatment plans for patients dealing with head and neck cancer. Additionally, an otolaryngologist usually has advanced imaging tests right here in their office to diagnose or rule out cancer. They will collaborate with your current doctors to come up with the very best treatment options and care to remove benign or malignant tumors. For patients who are dealing with structural changes as a result of tumor or growth removal, an ENT doctor may also be able to provide face and neck reconstructive surgery.
We understand just how scary head and neck cancer can be. Our goal is to provide patients with the supportive, respectful, and understanding care and support they need from our whole team. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of head and neck cancer, it’s important that you turn to an ENT doctor right away for proper diagnostic testing to determine what’s causing your symptoms. The sooner you turn to an otolaryngologist the better.