Head and neck cancer

It is a group of cancer that originates in the head and neck area and it affects the mouth, the nose, the sinuses, the throat, the larynx (voice box), and the saliva glands.

Modifiable risk factors

  • Smoking in all its forms (including chewing tobacco “Sweika” and indirect smoking(
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Specific viral infections in the mouth
  • Previous head and neck cancer
  • Excessive exposure to radiation
  • Occupational exposure to some substances (especially people working in certain jobs in the construction, metal, textile and ceramic)

You should consult your dentist or your Ear Nose Throat specialized doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms in a persistent (chronic) manner:

  • Blockage or bleeding in the nose
  • Pain, ulcers, or red spots of the tongue
  • Ulcer or red spots in the mouth
  • Pain in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling in the jaw or the neck
  • Change in the voice or hoarseness
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Early detection of head and neck cancer in its early stages would save lives.
You have to:

  1. Feel both sides of your neck and the area under the mandible (lower jaw) for any swelling or change in the symmetry of both sides.
  2. Check your mouth cavity and your tongue for any ulcers, red discoloration, or swelling.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly.
  1. Avoidance or quitting smoking and tobacco products in all its forms (chewing tobacco or sweika)
  2. Avoidance drinking alcohol
  3. Oral and dental care
  4. Healthy lifestyle (healthy nutrition and regular physical activity)
+ Risk factors

Modifiable risk factors

  • Smoking in all its forms (including chewing tobacco “Sweika” and indirect smoking(
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Specific viral infections in the mouth
  • Previous head and neck cancer
  • Excessive exposure to radiation
  • Occupational exposure to some substances (especially people working in certain jobs in the construction, metal, textile and ceramic)
+ Early signs and symptoms

You should consult your dentist or your Ear Nose Throat specialized doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms in a persistent (chronic) manner:

  • Blockage or bleeding in the nose
  • Pain, ulcers, or red spots of the tongue
  • Ulcer or red spots in the mouth
  • Pain in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling in the jaw or the neck
  • Change in the voice or hoarseness
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
+ Early detection

Early detection of head and neck cancer in its early stages would save lives.
You have to:

  1. Feel both sides of your neck and the area under the mandible (lower jaw) for any swelling or change in the symmetry of both sides.
  2. Check your mouth cavity and your tongue for any ulcers, red discoloration, or swelling.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly.
+ Prevention
  1. Avoidance or quitting smoking and tobacco products in all its forms (chewing tobacco or sweika)
  2. Avoidance drinking alcohol
  3. Oral and dental care
  4. Healthy lifestyle (healthy nutrition and regular physical activity)

Last reviewed in November 2017