Head and Neck Cancer Prevention


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Head & Neck Cancer Prevention

Use of tobacco and alcohol can increase your risk of developing head and neck cancer. Incidents of head and neck cancer also are higher in those who eat few fruits and vegetables.

Additional Risk Factors

  • Mouth Cancer
  • Being exposed to sunlight
  • Being infected with human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Being male
  • Being exposed to certain substances at work
  • Older age
  • Treatment with radiation therapy to the head and neck
  • Cancer of the Nose or Sinuses

Being exposed to certain workplace chemicals or dust, such as those found in the following jobs:

  • Flour mill or bakery work
  • Furniture-making/textile fibers
  • Leather tanning
  • Metal-plating/nickel refining
  • Sawmill work
  • Shoemaking
  • Woodworking (carpentry)

Symptoms

Symptoms differ for each type of head and neck cancer.

Cancer of the Larynx

  • A change or hoarseness in the voice
  • A lump in the neck or throat
  • A sore throat or cough that does not go away
  • Chronic cough
  • Ear pain
  • Trouble or pain when swallowing

Mouth Cancer

  • A lump or thickening on the lips or gums or in the mouth
  • A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils or lining of the mouth
  • Bleeding, pain or numbness in the lip or mouth
  • Change in voice
  • Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit well
  • Sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing or moving the tongue or jaw

Cancer of the Salivary Glands

  • A lump (usually painless) in the area of the ear, cheek, jaw, lip or inside the mouth
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Numbness or weakness in the face
  • Pain in the face that does not go away
  • Trouble swallowing or opening the mouth widely

Cancer of the Nose or Sinuses

  • A lump on the face or roof of the mouth
  • A lump or sore inside the nose that does not heal
  • A runny nose
  • Blocked sinuses or sinus pressure that does not clear
  • Headaches or pain in the sinus areas
  • Nosebleeds
  • Numbness or tingling in the face
  • Pain in the upper teeth, loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit well
  • Pain or pressure in the ear
  • Swelling or other trouble with the eyes, such as double vision or the eyes pointing in different directions

Throat Cancer

  • A change in voice
  • A lump in the neck
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Ear pain
  • Headache
  • Painful or difficult swallowing
  • Eating a diet without enough nutrients
  • Having a throat disorder called Plummer-Vinson syndrome
  • Infection with Epstein-Barr virus
  • Prolonged exposure to asbestos
  • Infection with human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Being male and older than 40

If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor

 

 

 

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 Cancer Institute

 Cancer Resources Center

 Community Support
 

 

 

 

 

 
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