Up to 90 percent of head and neck cancers arise after prolonged exposure to specific factors. Tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or snuff) and alcoholic beverages are closely linked with cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box.
Find it early – and be cured
Tobacco is the most preventable cause of these deaths. In the United States, up to 200,000 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses. Fortunately, this figure has decreased due to the increase in Americans who have quit smoking.
Here is what to watch for:
- A lump in the neck… Any such lumps or bumps are reason to make an appointment to see Dr. Kantu.
- Change in the voice… Most cancers of the larynx (voice box) cause hoarseness and/or dysphagia. Any change lasting more than two weeks should alert one to see
- A growth in the mouth… Most cancers of the mouth or tongue cause a sore or swelling that doesn’t go away.
- Coughing up or vomiting blood…This warrants a full evaluation by Dr. Kantu as well as the general internist.
- Swallowing problems…Cancer of the throat or esophagus (swallowing tube) may make swallowing difficult and/or painful.
- Changes in the skin…The most common head and neck cancer is basal cell cancer of the skin. Fortunately, this is rarely a problem if detected and treated early. These cancers generally appear on sun-exposed areas such as the forehead, face, and ears.
- Persistent Earache…Constant pain in or around the ear when swallowing may be a sign of infection or tumor growth in the throat.
As Board-certified Specialists in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Drs. Kanhaiyalal, Sanjay, and Manoj Kantu all perform surgery for cancers of the throat, head, and neck. Their expertise in the latest management of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck is conveyed to both the patient and his/her referring physician. Dr. Sanjay Kantu completed an additional year of Fellowship Training in Head & Neck Cancer Surgery so that his partners may consult with him regarding more difficult clinical presentations. The risks, benefits, and alternatives of surgical management are carefully explained to the patient and family in order to arrive at an informed and educated decision.