Head and Neck Tumors Q & A
Are head and neck tumors cancerous?
Finding a lump on the neck or head is disconcerting. Many patients automatically assume they have cancer, but in the vast majority of cases they don't. Swollen lymph nodes, for instance, can feel like a lump on the neck, or even the back of the head, and typically don't indicate cancer. If the lump is a tumor, it may be cancerous or benign. Dr. Astrachan and Dr. Hecht assist with the initial diagnosis process.
Can head or neck cancer be cured?
If found in early stages, head or neck cancer has a high cure rate. Early diagnostics are key to curing this cancer, and that's why patients need to schedule an appointment with Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut right away if they suspect they may have a tumor of the head or neck.
Where can head or neck cancer develop?
Common areas for head or neck tumors to be found include:
- Lip, mouth, tongue, and oral cavity
- Throat or pharynx
- Voice box or larynx
- Neck lymph nodes
- Nasal cavity or sinuses
For cancerous tumors, the most common location is the oral cavity.
What are the symptoms of a head or neck tumor?
Sometimes the most obvious sign of a problem is a lump that someone can feel, but some tumors are inside organs or deep under the skin and don't cause a visible lump. Other symptoms of tumors to watch for include:
- Non-healing sores or growths
- Swelling that doesn't cause pain
- Persistent swallowing difficulty with weight loss
- Pain when swallowing
- A sore throat lasting several weeks with ear pain
- Hoarseness lasting more than 2 weeks
With any of these symptoms, contact Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut right away.
How are head and neck tumors treated?
Dr. Astrachan and Dr. Hecht first will try to determine the type and exact location of the tumor. If the tumors are benign, surgical removal is typically the best option. If they're cancerous, they may need to partner with an oncology team to determine the best course of treatment. Treatment may involve surgical removal of the tumor as well as traditional cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.. To start the diagnostic process, patients should contact Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut for a complete consultation and evaluation.