Categories: Oncology

Cancer Screening for Head and Neck Cancer

Cancer of the mouth and head and neck region is on the rise due to chewing tobacco and smoking. Usually there is a delay in diagnosis because the patient comes late, or symptoms appear at a late stage or patient is not aware of the symptoms. The delay in diagnosis results in late detection of cancer cases. Studies confirm that survival or cancer cure rate depends on the stage of the disease, early diagnosis and treatment.  Despite advances in surgical techniques, radiation techniques and chemotherapy, the overall survival rate is 60%. Those who survive often have to endure major functional, cosmetic, and psychological burden due to inability to speak, swallow, breathe and chew.75% of all head and neck cancer begin in the oral cavity. Early detection of cancer greatly increases the cure rate.


What does the head and neck oncology surgeon do?

A detailed examination of the head and neck region including the mouth from inside is done. The neck is examined for any swelling.
A flexible endoscopy is done to examine the nose, behind the nose, voice box and the food passage. This head and neck cancer is done under local anesthesia in sitting position and takes 5-10 minutes to perform. The patient can go home after 15 minutes.
At RTTICS, the endoscopes are attached to a special filter called Narrow Band imaging, which enables the surgeon to diagnose cancer without biopsy. This is a great advancement in techniques when comparing the previous ones where the surgeon and patient had to wait for 5 days to get biopsy results.
To diagnose swelling in the neck, a needle is introduced to make a diagnosis which is available within 48-72 hours.
The patient should seek cancer screening from head and neck oncologists if they notice the following signs and symptoms.
  • Swelling in the neck not responding to antibiotics
  • Sore throat >6weeks duration
  • Hoarseness of more than 3 weeks duration (and or in association with thyroidswelling)
  • Lump sensation in throat of 2-3 weeks duration
  • Difficulty in swallowing of more than one week
  • Ulcers in the mouth of more than 3 weeks duration
  • White patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
  • Pain in the ear with difficulty in swallowing
  • Paralysis of nerves of the face
  • Swelling of the eye
Suspicion should be particularly for patients who are smokers and over the age of 40 years
Dr. Dev Shuvendu Roy
MS, DLO, FRCS, FRCS (ENT), EB Facial Plastic Surgery
Consultant – ENT Surgeon
Narayana Health

Recent Posts

सर्वाइकल कैंसर या बच्चेदानी के मुंह का कैंसर

बच्चेदानी के मुंह का कैंसर महिलाओं में होने वाले कैंसर में दूसरे स्थान पर आता…

2 weeks ago

Cervical Cancer Screening

Regular cervical screening can prevent about seven or eight out of every 10 cervical cancers…

2 weeks ago

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: All you need to know

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Table of Content: What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? Who gets ALS? What…

3 weeks ago

Brain Angiogram: Why Is It Done?

Brain angiogram, also known as a cerebral angiogram, is one of the common diagnostic tests…

3 weeks ago

All you need to know about Ataxia

Table of Content: What is Ataxia? Causes Symptoms Risk Factors & Complications How is it…

3 weeks ago

पोस्ट कोविड सिंड्रोम में तेजी से बढ़ रही पल्मोनरी फाइब्रोसिस और एम्बोलिज्म (खून के थक्के) की समस्या

जयपुर। कोरोना संक्रमण से ठीक होने के बाद भी फेफड़ों पर इसका असर लंबे समय…

3 weeks ago