Dr Sonia's ENT

ENT Specialist, Head & Neck Surgeon,Bangalore
Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal

ENT Health Articles

Head and Neck Cancer

Posted on June 30, 2010 at 5:39 AM

By Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal, ENT Specialist Bangalore

Head and neck cancers account for 3- 10 % of cancers worldwide but in the Indian Subcontinent it accounts for upto 45 % of cancers. Worldwide the occurence of these cancers is increasing.Awareness of the signs and symptoms goes a long way in early detection and cure.

What all cancers are the main head and neck cancers?

1. Voice box[ larynx]

2.Nose ,sinuses, nasopharynx[ at back of nose]

3.Mouth and throat - [ lips ,lining of mouth,tongue,pharynx]


5.Salivary glands

Who is affected?

•Sex: both males and females are affected though in general it is more in males

•Age: more in older age groups

What are the risk factors ?

1.smoking tobacco is the number 1 risk factor for head and ncek cancers


3.tobacco and betel nut chewing- gutka,pan

4.genetic contribution in some

5.viral infections [epstein barr virus for carcinoma nasopharynx,HPV for certain pharyngeal cancers]


7.occupational risk- exposure to some agents increases cancer risk

•asbestos industry

•wood workers,textile industry

•mustard gas,plastics

•nickel,paint,cement ,pesticides

What are the warning signs and symptoms ?

1.lump/swelling in neck

2.white discoloration in mouth

3.red discoloration in mouth

4.bleeding from nose or mouth

5.difficulty swallowing-cancer throat

6.pain on swallowing- cancer throat

7.change in voice or hoarseness- for cancer larynx[ voice box]

8.alteration in speaking - if affecting tongue and throat,voice box

9.ulcer in mouth, lips or tongue-they are painless at first and all the more sinister

10.swelling in mouth lips or tongue

11.persistent ear pain

12.gum swelling

What are the preventive strategies?

•Stop smoking

•Consume alcohol only in moderation or best not at all

•Take timely treatment for warning signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers stated above

•Do not use pan or gutka

•Self examination of mouth and neck on a regular basis abd cinsult an ENT Specialist with expertise in management of Head and Neck cancers


Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal


Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgery

Sonia & Prateek's ENT,Head and Neck Center,Sahakaranagar, Bangalore




ENT Specialist Bangalore

Categories: Head and Neck Cancer, Throat, Voice