Cancer can affect many areas of the head and neck, including the lip, oral cavity, salivary glands, nasal sinuses and nasal cavity, voice box, lymph nodes, skin and thyroid. The symptoms will vary, depending on which area the cancer has affected. The most common head and neck cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which looks like a lump or ulcer. Other persistent symptoms (lasting more than three weeks) that may indicate cancer are hoarseness, a stuffy nose, trouble swallowing, mouth sores or masses that won’t heal, and a sore throat.
Treatment for cancers of the head and neck include:
Patients who have been treated for cancer in the throat, voice box, mouth and other areas of the head and neck may experience changes to speech, eating and diet from the treatments used or the tumors themselves.