Head and Neck Cancer Prevention

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Head and neck cancer prevention is strongly associated to your diet and exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) rays. Head and neck cancer comprises the cancer of mucosal areas i.e. the areas which have moist cellular lining and are dark or sometimes exposed to outer surroundings, like lips, oral cavity, salivary glands, pharynx, nasopharynx (upper part of pharynx), oropharynx(middle part of pharynx), hypopharynx(lower part of pharynx), larynx( the voice-box), paranasal sinuses (these are hollow spaces behind the lowest part of nose, cheeks, eyes, forehead and eyes) and nasal cavity. However, one must note that skin (derma) cancer, eye cancer and brain cancer do not come under this category. Cancers originating from these mucosal areas are called as squamous cell carcinomas (SCCHN).

Head and neck cancer symptoms:

  • Lump in the throat
  • Changes in the skin
  • Change in the voice
  • Swelling of mouth
  • Swelling of eye
  • Double vision
  • Problem in swallowing food
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Blockage or bleeding of nose several times in a week
  • Pain in the upper part of jaw or face
  • Consistent pain in the ear
  • Persistent hoarseness

If you see any of the symptoms given above for more than two weeks, consult your physician as early as possible because the late you treat your cancer, the more dangerous and fatal it becomes. Cancer when it goes into its third stage is quite difficult to treat.

Head and neck cancer prevention:

Head and cancer prevention can takes place if you have control on your lifestyle. Consuming tobacco and alcohol gives rise to head and neck cancer. Tobacco can be in the form of pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff and cigars prove to be very dangerous and hazardous. Chewing tobacco causes oral cancer (mouth cancer).

Smoking harms the mucosal lining robbing the skin of its moisture. It also reduces the level of vitamin C in the body. Apart from it, it contributes to the growth of oral cancer. Smoking is injurious to the health. Statistics reveal that nearly eighty-five percent of head and neck cancers are caused due to smoking and use of tobacco.

Alcohol consumption dehydrates the body. It also increases the risk of liver cancer. Alcohol damages the lining of liver, the chemical laboratory of our body.

Poor oral hygiene, unhealthy diet that lacks in vitamin A (Retinol) and vitamin E (Tocopherol) also one of the factors in increase in the risk of head and neck cancer.

People consuming both alcohol and tobacco promote twice the increase in head and neck cancer. Genetic factors are also responsible for head and neck cancer. If your family has history of head and neck cancer, you better be aware of the symptoms and be regular for medical check-up. Genetic factors increase the risk of head and neck cancer by at least twenty percent. So, staying away from tobacco, alcohol and smoking goes a long way in head and neck cancer prevention. These life-style changes can easily be incorporated.

Having healthy diet, exercising regularly, giving up on unhygienic habits, living stress-free life and getting adequate sleep are some of the factors helping in head and neck cancer prevention.

Take care!

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