Head and neck cancer forms in or around the head and neck region, including the nose, throat, larynx, mouth, and sinuses. It is a serious condition that can also impact the nearby critical organs.Head and neck cancer is a primary cancer that affects people across geographies. But with development in research and technologies, the survival rate has continuously improved over the past few years.
Head and neck cancer treatments depend on factors like the tumor’s type, size, and location. The symptoms also vary in each person and depend on external factors like the tumor’s location.
Furthermore, the recovery phase from the treatment is as critical as the treatment itself. It might involve interactions with rehabilitation specialists and other experts who will help in guiding the journey. Head and neck cancer prognosis and recovery is a process with multiple aspects. Therefore, one must ensure they have the proper support mechanism to guide them through this process.
Head and neck cancer treatments require dedicated care from experts. At APCC, the multidisciplinary tumor board is trained and has experience in various head and neck cancer disciplines. Moreover, today’s treatment requires the latest cutting-edge technology, and APCC has all the state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate the same.
Head and neck cancer can be complex, and at APCC, personalized and comprehensive care through a multidisciplinary approach helps Get the best treatment. Furthermore, the focus is on the treatment and providing the best quality of life.
The different types of head and neck cancer are as follows:
There are four stages of head and neck cancer, depending on the location and size.
Head and neck cancer symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on the tumor’s location and size. Some of the common symptoms are:
Head and neck cancer is highly prevalent among men with age over 50. While there are no direct causes of head and neck cancer, there are some risk factors that one can avoid.
Head and neck cancer treatments depend on factors like the patient’s age and condition, type and stage of cancer, and others. Generally, the healthcare team will provide the details of treatment after diagnosis.
Proton therapy uses high-energy proton beams to deliver radiation to cancerous cells. It is a type of radiation therapy that uses proton beams to destroy cancerous cells and stop them from growing and dividing further. Depending upon the cancer stage, it can be used as a standalone treatment method or in combination with other traditional methods like chemotherapy.
The benefits of proton therapy for head and neck cancer are:
The cancer care team at APCC considers the various factors while working on the best suitable approach for the patient.
Proton therapy requires planning so that the dose of radiation and the impact is correct. Below are some things the patient can do to prepare for proton therapy.
Proton therapy is particularly beneficial for head and neck cancer as there are major structures like the oral cavity, salivary glands, pharyngeal mucosa, brain tissue, larynx, and spinal cord close to the tumor.
It can be an excellent treatment option for patients with cancer that has not spread to distant sites. Moreover, it can be an excellent option for cases where surgery is not possible. It is critical to note that the treatment decision depends on individual cases and can only be determined by the cancer specialists. They consider factors like cancer stage, location, patient’s health, and others before finalizing the treatment plan.
To understand more about proton therapy for head and neck cancer patients, it is advisable to connect with the cancer care team and understand the risks and benefits.
The duration of proton therapy for head and neck cancer can depend on multiple factors like the stage of cancer, location, patient’s health, and the objective of the treatment. On average, depending on the patient's condition, the proton therapy is given in daily sessions for 3 to 5 days per week. The sessions are delivered for 4-7 weeks. Each session can last between 15-30 minutes. The duration can also be shorter depending on the stage of cancer.
The cancer care team can use other treatment methods like chemotherapy or surgery and proton therapy. It is advisable to connect with the cancer care team to get the exact treatment plan and the expected duration.
Early detection is the key to restorative treatment. The head and neck oncology team performs multiple examinations and tests on the patient to understand cancer and provide the prognosis. Diagnosing head and neck cancer can include a physical exam, endoscopy, imaging tests, X-rays, PET CT scans, and MRIs. The oncologist can also recommend a biopsy or blood test for proper diagnosis.
There are a few steps that head and neck surgical oncology teams suggest to protect people from head and neck cancer.
Head and neck cancer is a type of cancer that affects the head or neck region. Any cancerous cell development in the lips, mouth, nasal cavity, throat, sinuses, larynx, or salivary gland is called head and neck cancer.
Some common symptoms of head and neck cancer are a lump in the head or neck region, sore throat or mouth, difficulty swallowing, hearing, speaking, or breathing issues, and others.
Some common risk factors that can lead to head and neck cancer are excessive usage of tobacco or alcohol, HPV, HIV, family history or genetic inheritance, exposure to harmful radiation, etc,
Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses intense proton beams to target the cancerous cells and destroy them, so they do not divide and grow further.
The cancer care team can use proton therapy in many ways depending on the current stage of cancer and the patient’s condition. They can use it as the only treatment method or combine it with chemotherapy, surgery, or other treatment methods. Once the plan is ready, the proton therapy sessions will last for 4-6 weeks with 15-30-minute sessions 5 days a week.
While there is no concrete evidence today proving that proton therapy is more effective, several studies suggest the same. Moreover, there are many research in progress to determine the relative effectiveness of the proton therapy for head and neck cancer as compared to other therapies.
Yes, head and neck cancer is curable, but the chances are best if the detection is early. Small tumors that are of earlier stages are also comparatively curable. Many factors, including cancer type, patient’s age, health condition, and response to treatment, can impact the chances of cure.
When visiting the healthcare provider, it is critical to get an answer to some questions.
Some radiation therapy side effects on head and neck cancer patients are unavoidable. When someone undergoes head and neck cancer radiation therapy, there are chances of some impact on the nearby tissues and cells, resulting in some side effects. But the majority of the side effects last for a few months. Moreover, the doctors usually give details about the side effects before the treatment.