Noninvasive Cancer Treatment in Los Angeles, CA
At Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we believe that there’s hope in the fight against cancer no matter what. We understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be, but we’re ready to stand by you throughout the treatment process, providing comprehensive support to help you overcome your condition. In addition to providing world-class radiation therapy, we want to help you learn about cancer so you have the knowledge to beat it – and these frequently asked questions are a great place to start.
Common Questions About Head and Neck Cancer
What is head & neck cancer?
Unlike some cancers, head & neck cancer doesn’t refer to one specific condition: instead, it’s a blanket term used to refer to any cancerous growths that form in the tissues of the head, the face, or the neck. Head & neck cancer generally doesn’t refer to brain cancer, but includes all of the following conditions:
- Salivary Gland Cancer: Cancer that forms in the glands that produce saliva.
- Oral & Oropharyngeal Cancer: Cancer in the mouth or the oropharynx, the cavity just behind the mouth.
- Nasopharyngeal Cancer: Cancer in the air passageway that connects the nose to the throat.
- Nasal & Paranasal Sinus Cancer: Cancer in the cavities and air-filled sinuses at the front of the face.
- Laryngeal & Hypopharyngeal Cancer: Cancer that forms in the larynx, also called the voice box, or the hypopharynx, also called the gullet.
What causes head and neck cancer?
Scientists don’t understand the exact causes of head and neck cancers, but there are several risk factors that increase the likelihood that any one person will develop head and neck cancer in their lifetime. These risk factors include:
- Tobacco Use: Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, or using smokeless tobacco (dip) all dramatically increase the risk of developing head and neck cancer. This is the most significant risk factor for head and neck cancer.
- Heavy Alcohol Use: Drinking 2 or more alcoholic drinks per day increases the risk of many cancers, including head and neck cancer.
- Being Male: head & neck cancers are 2-3 times more common for men than women, although this could be due to the higher percentage of men who smoke.
- Age: Head & neck cancer is most common in people over age 40.
- Sun Exposure: Long-term exposure to sunlight without sunscreen increases the risk of cancer forming on the lips, in the mouth, and on the skin of the face.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Failure to regularly brush and floss increases the likelihood of head and neck cancer.
What are the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer?
Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the specific type of cancer, but common signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers include:
- A lump in the throat, mouth, or neck
- Persistent nosebleeds that occur frequently or won’t stop
- Chronic, recurring sinus infections
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing, all of which are extremely serious symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention
- Coughing up blood
- Blood in the mucus
- A visible growth or sore in the mouth
- Persistent sore throat that doesn’t get better with treatment
- A change in the timbre of the voice
- Chronic hoarseness
- Frequent headaches or pain in the jaw, neck, head, mouth, or face
What are the treatments for head and neck cancer?
Treatment options vary greatly depending on the specifics of the case and the type of cancer, but the most common treatments for head and neck cancer include:
- CyberKnife Radiation Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
Often, doctors will recommend combining multiple treatments for the best treatment course. At Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we strive to use noninvasive CyberKnife to treat head and neck cancer without the need for surgery.
Contact Your Pasadena Radiation Therapy Clinic
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, we know how dire things might seem – but there’s always hope. Contact us today to learn more about our cancer center and how CyberKnife can help to treat head and neck cancer. Working together, we’ll create a comprehensive treatment plan to help you beat cancer and reclaim a healthy, normal lifestyle.