Cancer of the head and neck cancer may affect the lip, oral cavity or mouth, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. Most head and neck originate from the mucosal lining of these regions. Head and neck cancers often spread to the lymph nodes of the neck, and this is often the first sign of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
Head and neck cancer is usually associated with certain environment and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, UV light, certain chemicals and strains of viruses. These cancers are frequently aggressive and patients with these types of cancer are at a higher risk of developing another cancer in the head and neck area. Head and neck cancer is highly curable if detected early, usually through surgery and radiation therapy.
Depending on the location of cancer and the type of treatment, rehabilitation may include physical therapy, dietary counselling, speech therapy, and/or learning how to care for a stoma after a laryngectomy.