Cancers of the head & neck are typed and named according to the disease’s original location. This may be on the lips, mouth, nose, salivary glands, sinuses, larynx (voice box), nasopharynx, throat and trachea. Over 21,000 men and 9,000 women are diagnosed with head and neck cancer in the United States each year. If detected at an early stage, head & neck cancers are often curable.
Tobacco use, including cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, causes most oral cancer. This risk is significantly increased with heavy drinking. More than 75% of the people with oral cancer use these substances. Other risk factors include Human Papillomaviruses for cancer of the mouth and throat, family history of oral cancer and diets low in fruits and nuts. Symptoms can include patches inside your mouth or lips, bleeding, loose teeth, earaches, persistent hoarseness and difficulty or pain when swallowing.