April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. Given the increase in head and neck cancers it is timely to throw a light on this condition
Head and neck changes can be serious signs that put your wellbeing at risk and in jeopardy. Do not take head and neck changes for granted. It is judicious to be cognizant of and mindful about your risks for head and neck cancer.
Being knowledgeable is essential to self-care and knowing does matter because it can make a difference to your wellbeing and longevity. Having knowledge of risk factors may help you make more informed healthful choices.
Head and neck cancers can strike anytime and arise in the head or neck region. Both men and women are victims.
Two major risk factors for head and neck cancers both esophageal and pharyngeal are tobacco and heavy alcohol usage.These substances change the oral microbiome.Together the combination of tobacco use and heavy alcohol usage places you at an even higher
Other linked risk factors are second hand smoke and the sexually transmitted disease of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Likewise, negligence in taking care of your mouth and teeth with the ensuing poor oral and dental outcomes increase risks.
Additional associated risk factors that elevate your risk are acid reflux, environmental or occupational inhalants and prolonged sun exposure. What's more if you have a weak immune system you are also at increased risks
Head and neck cancers cover 5 different types that can infiltrate such sites as the nasal cavity, sinuses, oral cavity, salivary glands, throat and larynx or voice box. However, the two main types are pharyngeal and laryngeal cancers.The Pharynx is a tube that runs from your nose to your esophagus that carries food from the bottom of your throat to your stomach. And the larynx is your voice box and contains your vocal cords.
Head and neck cancers include oral cavity cancers that can affect your lips and the inside of your mouth, gums, cheeks, tongue and the top hard palate. Cancer stemming from an HPV source mostly involve the tonsils or base of the tongue. Some oral cancers can be in the nasal cavity and para nasal sinuses and some cancers may begin in the salivary glands.
There is a plethora of warning signs and symptoms vary depending on the location and spread for this form of cancer
Eliminate Risk factors
- You may be able to lower your risk by quitting tobacco products and avoiding heavy consumption of alcohol.
- Head and neck cancers has been linked to infection with certain types of human papillomaviruses (HPV). Reduce your risk of HPV infection by receiving the HPV vaccine and by limiting your number of sexual partners.
- Regular dental checkups are also important to screen for head and neck cancer since poor dental status is seen as a linked culprit. It is also important to use effective cleansers to clean your teeth and mouth,
- Using sunscreen regularly, including lip balm with an adequate sun protection factor (SPF) can be a worthwhile practice.
Be knowledgeable and informed about risks of head and neck cancer and attentiveness to changes is valuable. But if you have detected anything odd or out of the ordinary on the inside or outside of your mouth or your neck bring it to the attention of your physician.i It is critical to see your physician for a proper diagnosis.
Early detection is most important with head and neck cancer. When detected early and with managed care survival rates are high with an improved outlook. This condition adversely impacts quality of life and can bring about considerable lifelong bodily adjustments