Head and neck cancer treatment
Head and neck cancer is a group term for cancer in various parts within the head and neck. The cancer can develop in over 30 areas between the head and neck, it is a relatively common cancer with around 12,000 cases in the UK annually.
When should a patient come to see us?
The symptoms of head and neck cancer can vary, depending in which area the cancer has been found. The most common symptoms for:
Oral cancer – Pain, lump or ulcer in the mouth that is consistent and does not go away. Other symptoms include: bad breath, bleeding or sudden weight loss.
Cancer in sinuses – Pain, swelling or numbness in the cheeks, sudden headaches, and loose teeth.
Throat cancer – Where the cancer is present higher up the throat, symptoms include: nosebleeds, headache and blocked nose. For cancers lower in the throat, symptoms include: change in voice, sudden weight loss, sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
These symptoms could be caused by various conditions and may not be directly link to head and neck cancer. If you do have concerns, please see your GP as soon as possible.
What tests might I receive?
What happens if I’m diagnosed with a head or neck cancer?
If you receive a diagnosis for a head and neck cancer, such as an oral, throat, laryngeal cancer, you will be supported every step of the way by your consultant and other members of your healthcare team.
Your case will be discussed at a multidisciplinary team meeting. A multidisciplinary team is comprised of a group of experts from different clinical disciplines. They will discuss your test results and personal situation and work together to jointly devise a tailored treatment plan.
Throughout your cancer journey at Cromwell Hospital, you can expect to receive a holistic package of care to help you with the management of the physical, emotional and psychological side effects of cancer. This includes support from clinical nurse specialists, oncology counsellors, a cancer exercise specialist, and many more specialist services.
Treatments for head and neck cancers
Cromwell Hospital has some of the best cancer consultants and treatment facilities available. Depending on your diagnosis and needs, the following treatments may be recommended to you:
Surgery – including both open and robotic surgery
Support - specialist speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and specialist dietitian services.
Eight free counselling sessions for all patients receiving treatment for their cancer that can be accessed at any time during your treatment journey.