Head and Neck Cancer treatment in India

What is Head and Neck cancer ?

Most head and neck cancers begin in the cells that line the mucosal surfaces in the head and neck area, e.g., mouth, nose, and throat. Mucosal surfaces are moist tissues lining hollow organs and cavities of the body open to the environment. headneckNormal mucosal cells look like scales (squamous) under the microscope, so head and neck cancers are often referred to assquamous cell carcinomas. Some head and neck cancers begin in other types of cells. For example, cancers that begin in glandular cells are called adenocarcinomas.

Types of Head and Neck Cancer.

  • Nasaopharyngeal Cancer :The nasopharynx is the airway passageway at the upper part of the nose at the back of the nose.

  • Salivary Gland Cancer :Saliva produced by the salivary gland is the fluid that is released within the mouth in order to keep the mouth moist. Mouth helps in breaking down the food as it contains certain enzymes

  • Hypopharyngeal and Laryngeal Cancer :A tube shaped organ located in the neck used for swallowing, breathing and talking is the larynx. The hypopharnx, also referred to as gullet, is the lower part of the throat surrounding the larynx.

  • Oropharyngeal and Oral Cancer :Both tongue and the mouth is included in the oral cavity. The middle part of the throat is included in oropharynx.

  • Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer :The air-filled areas surrounding the nasal cavity is known as the paranasal sinuses. The space at the back of the nose from where air passes on the way to the throat is known as the nasal cavity.

Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer.

These are common symptoms of head and neck cancer in general.

  1. an ulcer or sore area in the head or neck that does not heal within a few weeks
  2. difficulty in swallowing, or pain when chewing or swallowing
  3. trouble with breathing or speaking, such as persistent noisy breathing, slurred speech or a hoarse voice
  4. a numb feeling in the mouth or on the lips
  5. an unexplained loose tooth
  6. a persistent blocked nose, or nose bleeds
  7. a constant sore throat and earache affecting one side
  8. ringing in the ear, or difficulty in hearing
  9. a swelling or lump in the mouth or neck
  10. pain in the face or upper jaw
  11. in people who smoke or chew tobacco, pre-cancerous changes can occur in the lining of the mouth, or on the tongue. These can appear as persistent white patches (leukoplakia) or red patches (erythroplakia). They are usually painless but can sometimes be sore and may bleed.

Head and Neck Cancers Diagnosis:-

  • Physical Examinationmay include visual inspection of the oral and nasal cavities, neck, throat, and tongue using a small mirror and/or lights. The doctor may also feel for lumps on the neck, lips, gums, and cheeks.
  • Endoscopy: a laryngoscope is inserted through the mouth to view the larynx; an esophagoscope is inserted through the mouth to examine the esophagus; and a nasopharyngoscope is inserted through the nose so the doctor can see the nasal cavity and nasopharynx.
  • Laboratory testsexamine samples of blood, urine, or other substances from the body.
  • X-rayscreate images of areas inside the head and neck on film.
  • CT (or CAT) Scanis a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the head and neck created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or MRI)uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create detailed pictures of areas inside the head and neck.
  • PET Scanuses sugar that is modified in a specific way so it is absorbed by cancer cells and appears as dark areas on the scan.
  • Biopsyis the removal of tissue. A pathologist studies the tissue under a microscope to make a diagnosis. A biopsy is the only sure way to tell whether a person has cancer.

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Head and Neck Cancer treatment in India

Most Advanced Head and Neck Cancer Care and Treatment in India

Best Cancer Hospitals of India for Advanced Head and Neck Treatment

headneckThe major culprits are chewing tobacco, betel nut, paan, smoking cigarettes and consuming excessive alcohol. Another risk factor is an infection with the HPV which increases the risk of throat cancer.

Head and Neck Cancer Treatment at World’s Best Cancer Hospitals in India

Surgery: During surgery, the goal is to remove the cancerous tissue and some of the healthy tissue around it . A surgical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer using surgery. Types of surgery for head and neck cancer include:

• Excision. This is an operation to remove the cancerous tissue and the margin around it.

• Laser Technology. This may be used to treat early-stage tumors, especially in larynx cancer.

• Lymph Node Dissection. If the doctor suspects that the cancer has spread, the doctor may remove lymph nodes in the neck, possibly causing stiffness in the shoulders afterward. This may be done at the same time as an excision.

• Reconstructive (Plastic) Surgery. This type of operation is aimed at restoring a person’s appearance and function of the affected area. If the surgery requires major tissue removal (for example, removing the jaw, skin, pharynx, or tongue), reconstructive or plastic surgery may be done to replace the missing tissue.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs work by disrupting the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs are usually given into a vein (intravenously). As the drugs circulate in the bloodstream, they can reach cancer cells all over the body. When chemotherapy is given to treat head and neck cancer, it’s usually given in combination with radiotherapy. Chemotherapy has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy, improving cure rates compared to radiation therapy alone for advanced cancers such as those originating in the nasopharynx.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy is standard curative treatment for many patients with head and neck cancers. Which approach is used depends on the extent of the tumor; radiation and chemotherapy are used in combination when treating more advanced disease. In select situations, such as oral cavity tumors, the patient undergoes surgery followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy, or a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, may be used to treat patients who would develop significant side effects from surgery, those with inoperable cancers, or those who have a poor prognosis after surgery.

Head and Neck Cancers Diagnosis:-

  • Physical Examinationmay include visual inspection of the oral and nasal cavities, neck, throat, and tongue using a small mirror and/or lights. The doctor may also feel for lumps on the neck, lips, gums, and cheeks.
  • Endoscopy: a laryngoscope is inserted through the mouth to view the larynx; an esophagoscope is inserted through the mouth to examine the esophagus; and a nasopharyngoscope is inserted through the nose so the doctor can see the nasal cavity and nasopharynx.
  • Laboratory testsexamine samples of blood, urine, or other substances from the body.
  • X-rayscreate images of areas inside the head and neck on film.
  • CT (or CAT) Scanis a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the head and neck created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or MRI)uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create detailed pictures of areas inside the head and neck.
  • PET Scanuses sugar that is modified in a specific way so it is absorbed by cancer cells and appears as dark areas on the scan.
  • Biopsyis the removal of tissue. A pathologist studies the tissue under a microscope to make a diagnosis. A biopsy is the only sure way to tell whether a person has cancer.

Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Options at Best Cancer Hospitals in India

Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy are the three main types of treatment for administering head and neck cancer. Surgery or radiation therapy is considered as the primary treatments while chemotherapy is usually used as an adjuvant or additional treatment. Primary cancer can be easily treated with the help of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can also effectively treat the neck. A neck dissection is also sometimes necessary for removing involved lymph nodes in the neck when the amount of disease in the neck nodes is very wide.

Surgery is considered as a very important treatment that can be done either before or after the radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is given afterward when it is necessary to remove the primary tumor surgically. The tumor is first tried to shrink by using radiotherapy and surgery is followed by radiotherapy

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Most Advanced Head and Neck Cancer Care and Treatment in India