Head Neck Cancer

Cancers that are known collectively as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the mucosal surfaces of the head and neck (for example, those inside the mouth, throat, and voice box). These cancers are referred to as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Head and neck cancers can also begin in the salivary glands, sinuses, or muscles or nerves in the head and neck, but these types of cancer are much less common than squamous cell carcinomas

Common symptoms include:

  • A new lump or bump on the neck, face or breathing and swallowing passages
  • A sore that does not heal
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A change in the voice
  • New hoarseness
  • White or red patches on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth
  • Jaw swelling that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Unusual bleeding or pain in the mouth, throat or nose
  • Chronic sinus infections that do not respond to antibiotic treatment
  • Numbness or paralysis of the facial muscles
  • Ear pain

These symptoms may result from cancer or other conditions. It is important to be evaluated by a physician to get the right diagnosis and treatment.