Head and Neck Cancer
As the name implies Head and Neck cancer commonly covers all tumours within the head and neck region. Concerns and symptoms include mouth ulcers which don’t resolve in a period of six weeks, changes in voice, unusual voice, unusual swallowing, unusual taste or even smell. Malignant neoplasms often present as painless lumps within the neck. These are often secondary metastases. This is where cancerous tissue is moved from some other area in the head, neck, oral or facial region to the lymph nodes within the neck. These conditions are very serious and need to be seen very quickly to be given the best chance of treatment and survival. These conditions are very common in smokers, but are also present in non-smokers.
If yourself, a partner or a doctor are suspicious of any lesion in the head and neck region it should be examined as soon as possible by an ENT Surgeon. Often a CT scan with contrast will be required to stage any tumour or mass in the head and neck region. Often a biopsy will be required and this sometimes needs to be done under a general anaesthetic. If a general anaesthetic is done, it will involve a panendoscopy which is a procedure where all the areas where tumours can hide are examined whilst you are under a general anaesthetic.
This sort of cancer is very serious and can be life-threatening with the follow-up sometimes proceeding for four or more years. If there is a suspicion of a head or neck tumour this should be explained to the reception staff when calling to make an appointment.
Salivary Gland Conditions
Salivary gland conditions can be infective, inflammatory or tumourous. Infective and inflammatory conditions often involve swelling, facial pain and obstruction of the canals. This will often be very painful and cause jaw and throat pain. Tumours of the salivary gland are often painless masses and swellings of the salivary gland such as the parotid, on the face in front of the ear, and also the submandibular gland which is under the angle of the jaw. Most salivary gland neoplasms are not malignant, but all lumps and masses are considered possible malignant tumors until fully investigated. These require simple medication in some cases, conservative treatment in others, and finally, interventional treatment.