Throat Cancer Types Neck

Neck cancer is usually grouped with head cancer as one of the most common type of cancers. Head and neck cancer is an umbrella term referring to any cancer of the:

Types of Neck Cancer

The following types of neck cancers occur when cells divide uncontrollably in specific parts of the neck:

  • Laryngeal: This is a form of neck cancer that occurs in the larynx, or voice box. The cancer usually forms in the squamous cells, thin flat cells that help make up the lining of the larynx.
  • Oropharyngeal: This is a form of neck cancer that occurs in the middle part of the pharynx, or throat. Both air and food must pass through this part of the body. Like laryngeal cancer, oropharyngeal cancer resides in the squamous cells.

Neck Cancer Symptoms

Cancer of the neck can be difficult to detect, so it is important to check with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Earache: Persistent pain around the ear could be a sign of a cancerous growth in the throat.
  • Lump in the Neck: Any lump that persists for two weeks or more should be examined by a physician.
  • Skin Changes: A common problem with neck cancer is basal cell cancer, which begins as a pale patch on the skin.
  • Swallowing Problems: If it hurts to swallow or if your regurgitate food after swallowing, you should see your doctor.
  • Voice Changes: See a doctor if you are hoarse or experience changes in your voice for two weeks or more.

Neck Cancer Risk Factors

Though no one knows the exact cause of neck cancer, researchers do agree that using tobacco products increases a person’s risk of developing neck cancer. People who smoke cigarettes and pipes or who use chewing tobacco or snuff are at a higher risk for developing neck cancer.

If you use tobacco-based products, talk to you doctor about ways to quit.

Neck Cancer Treatment

Treatment for cancer of the neck is dependent on the type, location and stage of the cancer as well as the patient’s age and overall health.

There are many options for treating neck cancer. Your doctor will likely prescribe a mixture of the following:

  • Chemotherapy: Used in conjunction with radiation therapy, chemotherapy can be very effective. Chemotherapy involves administering drugs either intravenously or orally to kill cancer cells. These drugs can be given in small doses or stronger ones depending on the severity of the cancer.
  • Radiation Therapy: Research has discovered that radiation treatment has been effective in treating neck cancer. Radiation can be delivered in several forms, including external beam therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
  • Surgery: In the past, people who are diagnosed with neck cancer often had to undergo a laryngectomy, or voice box removal, to help cure neck cancer. However, it has been discovered that chemotherapy along with radiation therapies are just as effective at treating neck cancers.

Of course, it should be known that none of these treatments are without side effects. If you discover that you have cancer of the mouth, you need to consult with your doctor to determine the type or types of treatments that are best for you.

Resources

American Academy of Otolaryngology (2007). Head and Neck Cancer. Retrieved June 20, 2007, from the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery Web site: http://www.entnet.org/healthinfo/tobacco/cancer.cfm.

National Cancer Institute (n.d.). Chemotherapy and Radiation Together May Help Save Voicebox. Retrieved June 21, 2007, from the National Cancer Institute Web site: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/results/voicebox0501.

National Cancer Institute (n.d.). Laryngeal Cancer Treatment. Retrieved June 21, 2007, from the National Cancer Institute Web site: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/laryngeal/patient.

National Cancer Institute (n.d.). Oropharyngeal Cancer Treatment. Retrieved June 21, 2007, from the National Cancer Institute Web site: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/oropharyngeal/patient.

Radiology Info (2007). Head and Neck Cancer. Retrieved June 21, 2007, from the Radiology Info Web site: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=hdneck