About Head and Neck Cancer: A Shareable Guide for Patients, Family and Friends


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About Head and Neck Cancer: A Sharable Guide for Patients, Family and Friends


Head and Neck Cancer Defined

  • Head and neck cancers are abnormal growths of cells in the head and neck and can occur in the larynx (voice box), throat, lips, mouth, nose and salivary glands.
  • In some instances, this type of cancer can spread to the lymph nodes.
  • The size and degree to which the cancer has invaded the nodes and spread to other parts of the body dictates the stage of the condition.


Common Head and Neck Cancers

Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, salivary glands, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx


What are the symptoms and warning signs of head and neck cancers?

Early signs of head or neck cancer can sometimes be a cold that will not go away, a lump in the neck or mouth, or jaw or ear pain. If these kinds of symptoms cannot be explained by a simple infection or cured with antibiotics, a deeper investigation is usually done to determine if there is a more serious underlying issue.


Head and Neck Cancer Support

A diagnosis of head and neck cancer can be overwhelming for the entire family. Open discussion between family members, health professionals and patients can help ensure the best care. There are many different places to find a wide range of information on head and neck cancer. We encourage you to join our community and to check out our brief videos to find the most up-to-date information from leading experts about support, new treatments, clinical trials, communication, financial issues and much more. 

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Head and Neck Cancer Videos and Transcripts

The Importance of Screening for Head and Neck Cancers

Head and Neck Surgeon and Specialist Dr. Erich Sturgis explains the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccination against oropharynx (back of throat) cancers.


Promising Research Underway for Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Dr. Faye Johnson of MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses four promising areas of targeted research in head and neck cancers.


Rehabilitation and Support Options in Head and Neck Cancer

Dr. Faye Johnson of MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses the importance of selecting head and neck specialists for your team in order to obtain best possible rehabilitation and support.


The Importance of Seeking a Head and Neck Cancer Specialist

Dr. Ezra Cohen of UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center discusses the changing research landscape for head and neck cancers.


Defining Head and Neck Cancers

Dr. Carryn Anderson of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics defines head and neck cancers including typical symptoms, common causes, treatment modalities and healthcare team members.


How Can Head and Neck Cancer Patients Participate in Clinical Trials?

Dr. Keith Bible of the Mayo Clinic describes new innovations in head and neck cancers coming out of clinical trials, both in immunotherapy and kinase inhibitors.


Head and Neck Cancers and HPV: Is There a Connection?

Head and Neck cancer surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Houlton, is honored and excited to be working with his patients. Newer therapies and newer techniques are providing cancer patients with higher possible cure rates without sacrificing quality of life. Dr. Houlton applauds the Team Medicine approach at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where patient priorities and goals drive the therapeutic approach.



Breaking the Cancer Silence

Cherry Sloane-Medrano, nurse at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and also a cancer survivor, shares her vision for a shared culture that breaks the silence about cancer.


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Page last updated on June 13, 2019