Head & Neck Tumor

Tumors of the tongue, pharynx, gums, larynx, the areas behind the cheeks and lips, the esophagus, the tonsils, the salivary glands, the base of the skull where the brain sits, the cavities in the areas around the nose and forehead, also called paranasal sinuses, are called head and neck tumor. They were thought to be inoperable. Leaving them alone can’t be an option as the patient is likely to suffer breathing difficulties if there are any tumors in the nasopharyngeal area. When they occur in the sinuses, or anywhere in the nasal passage, there would be constant headaches, pain in the teeth, and the eyes might be damaged, if these tumors are left untreated. There would be difficulty in swallowing even water, let alone eating solid food if there are any tumors inside the mouth, even benign tumors. Tumors in the larynx could lead to ear pain and difficulty in swallowing. The brain sits on the base of the skull. Any tumors there could prove life-threatening. Subjecting these areas to radiation is fraught with risks. Usually, the doctor will draw up a treatment plan keeping in mind the age, overall health status of the patient, how far advanced is the stage of the tumor, whether it is benign or malignant. Purely medicinal or chemotherapy regimens are rare, except when the patient is aged; or when the patient suffers comorbidities which prohibit surgery. Nowadays, doctors use endoscopic and microsurgical methods to remove tumors from these site.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors