Other Head And Neck Cancers
Squamous cell carcinoma (SSC) is usually found in the lining of the mouth, tongue, pharynx, larynx and hypopharynx.
Causes of SSC
- Cigarette-and cigar-smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- Tobacco or betel nut-chewing
- Poor oral hygiene and dental caries
- Sharp and abrasive edges on teeth or dentures
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Chronic reflux
- Exposure to wood and metal dust, and chemical inhalants for sinus cancer
Signs and Symptoms
- Throat or oral discomfort
- Difficulty swallowing and/or breathing
- Chronic cough
- Blood-stained sputum
- Ulcers or growths in the mouth or oropharynx that fail to heal
- Unexplained referred pain to the ear
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
- Poor appetite and weight loss
Prevention starts with avoidance of the above-mentioned causes of SSC. Those who are sexually active should take HPV vaccinations. As HPV infection is implicated as a common cause, HPV vaccinations should be given to teenagers of both sexes, prior to their becoming sexually active. Currently, this vaccination is recommended only to teenage girls before they become sexually active.
- Transoral or endonasal surgery
- Chemotherapy. If located in a region where surgery may cause loss of an important function, chemotherapy combined with IMRT would be the first choice of treatment, hence leaving surgery to salvage any failure.