Colorado West Otolaryngologists
Facial Plastic Surgery & Otolaryngology Practice & Allergy Clinic located in Grand Junction, CO & Montrose, CO
Head and neck tumors aren’t always malignant, but any abnormal growth represents a risk for cancer. For this reason, the exceptional team at Colorado West Otolaryngologists, PC, encourages you to schedule an examination at the earliest signs of problems in your head and neck. If you have any questions about your symptoms, call the office in Grand Junction, Montrose, or Gunnison, Colorado, or book an appointment online today.
Head and Neck Tumors Q & A
Where do head and neck tumors develop?
Head and neck tumors affect many areas of your mouth, throat, nose, and sinuses. You can develop benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumors, which are classified into five types:
Oral and oropharyngeal tumors
These tumors appear in your mouth, tonsils, throat, and tongue. The single largest risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal cancer is tobacco use. About 85% of malignant tumors develop due to smoking (cigarettes and pipes) and chewing tobacco or snuff.
Salivary gland tumors
These tumors most often affect the largest salivary glands, called the parotid glands, which are in front of your ears. Tumors also frequently develop in the salivary glands below your jaw.
Nasopharyngeal tumors occur in the upper part of your throat, just behind your nose.
Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus tumors
Tumors that grow inside your nose or sinuses typically originate in the mucus-producing tissues that line these cavities.
Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer
These tumors affect your voice box (larynx) and the structure that stops food from getting into the larynx, called the hypopharynx.
What symptoms occur if I have a head or neck tumor?
As a group, head and neck tumors cause symptoms such as:
- Non-healing sores in your mouth or lips
- Red or white patches in your mouth
- A lump in your neck, lips, or mouth
- Bleeding or a sore in your nose
- Chronic sinus infections
- Nasal congestion
- Pain in your face, neck, or throat
- Pain when swallowing
- Ongoing sore throat
- Eye swelling and pain
- Facial numbness
You won’t have all these symptoms. The symptoms you develop depend on the location of your tumor.
How are head and neck tumors treated?
The team at Colorado West Otolaryngologists, PC, diagnoses and treats all types of head and neck tumors. They use a range of diagnostic tests, including blood tests, diagnostic imaging, endoscopies, and biopsies. Then they treat major tumors with primary resection and salvage surgery.
Primary resection refers to removing the tumor, some of the surrounding tissue, and lymph nodes, as necessary. Salvage surgery refers to removing the tumor after chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy fails to eliminate your head or neck cancer.
After tumor resection, Colorado West Otolaryngologists, PC, often works with plastic surgery specialists for major reconstruction.
Don’t wait to get an evaluation for worrisome head and neck symptoms. Call Colorado West Otolaryngologists, PC, or schedule an appointment through online booking today.
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