Some of these may be considered as cancers of the lips, tongue, mouth, salivary glands, nasal sinuses, pharynx, larynx (also called voicebox), and the lymph nodes in the neck. All of these can cause neck cancer symptoms.
What causes neck cancers?
Nearly 85 percent of neck and head cancers are said to be caused by tobacco usage. Some other risks or causes are attributed to: excess sun exposure, HPV infections, too much radiation caused by radiation therapy or x-rays for other medical conditions, exposure to industrial chemicals, exposure to wood dust, poor oral hygiene, exposure to asbestos, or eating certain products such as mate (tea like drink used in South America), paan or betel quid (used in Southeast Asia) or other issues.
Neck cancer symptoms
Neck cancer symptoms can include: a lump or sore throat that doesn’t heal or go away, problems swallowing, excessive hoarseness, white or reddish patches on the gums, mouth or tongue; jaw swelling, chronic and unrelenting sinus infections that don’t go away when treated, nose bleeds, teeth pain, facial numbness, neck pain, trouble talking, trouble breathing, or similar issues. If you have any of these neck cancer symptoms you should see a doctor, as not all will be cancer and it could be a less serious issue.
How do doctors diagnose neck cancer?
Doctors will evaluate neck cancer symptoms and do an exam and related tests to see if someone has a neck cancer. For instance, a biopsy is usually performed to check some of the affected tissue.
They will also feel for the lump or feel the sore area to check for problems. They may use what is called an endoscope to look at the insides of the person’s throat to check for problems. They may also use x-rays or MRIs of the head or neck or get samples of blood or urine for further testing.
Treatments for neck cancer symptoms
Neck cancer symptoms can be treated in the following ways:
Surgery—If possible, doctors may need to cut out the affected area in the neck, such as removing lymph nodes. This can cause issues with the person being able to eat or talk and their appearance may also change. It may also cause the throat to become permanently numb due to cut nerves.
Radiation: Radiation of the affected area may also be undertaken to treat neck cancer symptoms. Side effects can be redness, dryness in the mouth, problems swallowing, skin texture, stiffness of the jaw, taste changes or nausea.
Chemotherapy – Treatment using anti-cancer medications to kill the cancer cells. Side effect may include nausea; lose of hair, mouth or lip sores, loss of appetite, pain in the joints, rash, being tired, leg swelling, etc.
The bottom line is that neck cancer symptoms should be handled quickly by going to your doctor to see if you indeed have cancer or some other problem.