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Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer accounts for 3 percent of all malignancies in the United States. Ninety percent of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma develops in the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat.

Head and neck cancers include cancer of the mouth, nose, throat, larynx, sinuses, lymph nodes and salivary glands.

Risk of oral cancer is linked to smoking and tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, chronic irritation, human papillomavirus, immunosuppressants, and poor dental and oral hygiene. Symptoms may include a lump or ulcer in the mouth, problems chewing, mouth sores or difficulty swallowing.

Smoking and drinking alcohol also increase the risk of developing throat and larynx cancer. Symptoms may include coughing, coughing up blood, difficulty swallowing, long-term hoarseness, long-term sore throat, and lumps or swelling in the neck.

The most common type of salivary gland tumor is noncancerous, but some salivary gland tumors may be cancerous. Symptoms of a tumor may include firm swelling in one of the salivary glands (in front of the ears, under the chin or on the floor of the mouth, and difficulty moving one side of the face).

Types of head and neck cancer include:

  • Hypopharyngeal cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Lip and oral cavity cancer
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Squamous cell neck cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Thyroid cancer

Our surgeons also treat benign parathyroid tumors and hyperparathyroidism.

Keck Medicine of USC
Univeristy of Southern California
Keck Medicine of USC
Keck Medicine of USC
Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area.