Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, a cancer that accounts for 4% of all cancers in the United States. Head and neck cancers arise from squamous cells lining the mucosal surfaces in regions like the mouth, nose, throat, and salivary glands. Approximately 66,920 new cases were reported in 2023, resulting in 15,400 deaths. 

Symptoms of head and neck cancers may include: 

  • Persistent lumps or sores 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Chronic sore throat 
  • Changes in voice quality 

These cancers predominantly affect men and individuals over the age of 50, and they are associated with risk factors such as heavy alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and infection with cancer-causing strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Healthy ways to address the correlation between tobacco use and head and neck cancer emphasize cessation efforts and public health campaigns, as roughly 70-80 percent of cases are attributed to this habit. 

Things to Avoid for Better Health and Wellness:  

  • Smoking 
  • Alcohol Abuse 
  • Poor Diet 
  • Lack of Sun Protection  
  • Poor Hygiene  

Dr. Neelesh Srinivasan Bangalore, a Hill Physicians Medical Group physician, states, “It’s very critical that we try to diagnose any cancer at the earliest stages…We have to educate people who may be at high risk – such as smokers, people who chew betel nut, people who have EBV virus, or people coming from certain endemic areas, for example.” 

Head and neck cancers encompass a variety of malignancies affecting different anatomical structures, including the mouth, throat, voice box, salivary glands, sinuses, muscles, and nerves. Recognizing the diversity of these cancers underscores the need for tailored prevention strategies and early detection initiatives. As we observe Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month in April, it’s vital to emphasize education, advocacy, and proactive healthcare measures in the fight against this disease.  

Take charge of your health today! Reach out to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms, Hill Physicians Medical Group is home to over 5,600 physicians who are dedicated to your care and wellbeing.  

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