30,000 people will die from throat cancer this year
Clarence loves his family. He’s been married to his wife Cissy for 40 years and all three of his kids are grown and successful. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for any of them.
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Unfortunately Clarence also love to smoke and despite years of pleading, the family he loves so much has never been able to get him to stop. This year his coughing got so bad he was finally forced to see a doctor. It’s a good thing he did.
Head and neck cancer refers to a group of biologically similar cancers originating from the upper aerodigestive tract, including the lip, oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. 90% of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCHN), originating from the mucosal lining (epithelium) of these regions. Head and neck cancers often spread to the lymph nodes of the neck, and this is often the first (and sometimes only) manifestation of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Head and neck cancer is strongly associated with certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, UV light and occupational exposures, and certain strains of viruses, such as the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. These cancers are frequently aggressive in their biologic behavior; patients with these types of cancer often develop a second primary tumor. Head and neck cancer is highly curable if detected early, usually with some form of surgery although chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also play an important role. The 2009 estimated number of head and neck cancer in the US is of 35,720 new cases
A patient usually presents to the physician complaining of one or more of the above symptoms The patient will typically undergo a needle biopsy of this lesion, and a histopathologic information is available, a multidisciplinary discussion of the optimal treatment strategy will be undertaken between the radiation oncologist, surgical oncologist, and medical oncologist.
Throat cancers are classified according to their histology or cell structure, and are commonly referred to by their location in the oral cavity and neck. This is because where the cancer appears in the throat affects the prognosis - some throat cancers are more aggressive than others depending upon their location. The stage at which the cancer is diagnosed is also a critical factor in the prognosis of throat cancer.
Squamous cell carcinomaSquamous cells are the epithelium (tissue layer) that is the surface cells of much of the body. Skin and mucous membranes are squamous cells. This is the most common form of larynx cancer, accounting for over 90% of throat cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is most likely to appear in males over 40 years of age with a history of heavy alcohol use coupled with smoking.
Aden carcinoma is a cancer of the columnar epithelium typical of the lower esophagus. It is typical of Barrett's esophagus but may be at another location. Aden carcinoma is thought of as a product of Barrett's esophagus.
Avoidance of recognized risk factors (as described above) is the single most effective form of prevention. Regular dental examinations may identify pre-cancerous lesions in the oral cavity.
When diagnosed early, oral, head and neck cancers can be treated more easily and the chances of survival increase tremendously.
It is expected that HPV vaccines may reduce the risk of HPV induced head and neck cancer. (Content courtesy of Wikipedia)
Clarence still misses the occasional cigarette but he loves his family more than he loved to smoke. Early detection saves lives. Your family needs you.
Don’t be the 1 that cancer takes!
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