• Printer Friendly Version
Back to Cancer Care
Head & Neck Cancers Resources
Other Cancer Types
Select a cancer type for diagnosis and treatment information:

Head and Neck Cancers

Head and Neck Cancers

Head and neck cancers encompass a variety of cancers, mostly those that begin in the mucus membranes of places like the mouth, nasal cavity, throat, larynx, sinuses and salivary glands.

What are the symptoms of head and neck cancers?
Lumps and sores that do not heal, a sore throat, pain and bleeding in the mouth, pain when swallowing, chronic sinus infections and swelling of any area of the head or neck can all be associated with these cancers.

How are head and neck cancers diagnosed?
If a cancer of the head or neck is suspected, your doctor will give you an examination, possibly including blood tests. A biopsy will be done, and imaging and lab tests will be done to help determine the extent of the cancer and whether it has spread.

What are the treatments for head and neck cancers?
Treatment will vary depending on the exact type, stage and location of the cancer and your age and general health, but it may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy drugs or a combination of any of these. Immunotherapy may also be used.

What are the risk factors for head and neck cancers?
This depends on the individual type of cancer, but in general alcohol and tobacco use are the most common causes. Poor oral hygiene sometimes play a role. Past radiation exposure or a history of working in certain industrial jobs and infection with the Epstein-Barr virus or human papilloma virus are all risk factors.

What are some additional resources for learning about head and neck cancers?
If you or your loved one is facing head and neck cancers CalvertHealth has a whole range of services designed to help you so you never take this journey alone. Please talk to your CalvertHealth provider or your Nurse Navigator, or check the service pages for information about treatments, services and support groups.