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Head and Neck Cancer

This type of cancer can begin in any of these places: larynx, nasal cavity, mouth, paranasal sinuses, throat, or salivary glands.


Symptoms of head and neck cancer include a growth or sore in the mouth or nose, a lump in the neck, a lingering sore throat, and numbness in the face. These symptoms may also indicate other, less serious conditions.

Understanding Your Diagnosis

To help with the diagnosis, your doctor will do a thorough exam of your head and neck. Your doctor may use a flexible tube with a light at the end or a small mirror to help see your throat, the base of the tongue, and the larynx.

Deciding on Treatment

Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. You may need surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or biological therapy, which helps the immune system fight infections and other diseases.

Managing Side Effects

Side effects of treatment for head and neck cancer depend on the specific treatment given and can vary from patient to patient. Your cancer specialist will work with you to keep any side effects at a minimum.

Prevention and Screening

The best way to prevent this type of cancer is to quit smoking if you smoke. Get regular medical checkups that include an exam of the mouth, head, and neck.

Advanced Reading

Learn more about head and neck cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ®) for patients. It includes information about prevention, screening, and treatment.


Find a Cancer Specialist

You are Unique

At St. John Providence Health System, we know that you’re a unique individual and not just a condition or a list of symptoms. We treat the whole person.

Get in touch with us so we can learn about you and give you the help you need for your individual situation.

Call 1-866-246-4673