Cancer can start any place in the body. Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Neck tumors that starts in the neck can have many names. It depends on where they start. All neck tumor/cancers start when cells in part of the neck grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. Head and neck cancer is a term used to define cancer/tumor that develops in the throat, or other areas of the neck.
What causes neck tumor/cancer?
Some people inherit DNA mutations (changes) from their parents that greatly increase their risk for developing certain neck tumors. But inherited gene mutations are not believed to cause many neck tumors.
We, at CAN-C provide neck tumor treatment in Bangalore.
Here, you will find information about signs and symptoms, causes and risk factors, types, diagnosis, staging and prevention about neck tumor.
People with neck cancer/tumor often experience the following symptoms or signs.
Hoarseness or voice changes: Cancers/tumors that form on the vocal cords (glottis) often cause hoarseness or a change in the voice.
A sore throat that does not go away
Pain when swallowing
Weight loss for unintended reason
A lump or mass in the neck (due to spread of the cancer to nearby lymph nodes)
Nasal obstruction or persistent nasal congestion
Numbness or weakness of a body part in the neck region
Our centre has been a leader in providing top-quality neck tumor treatment in Bangalore.
A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease like cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. There are some risk factors, which are listed below:
Tobacco and alcohol use: Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for neck tumors. The more you smoke, the greater your risk. Smoke from cigarettes, pipes, and cigars all increase your risk of getting neck tumors or cancers.
Poor nutrition: Poor nutrition may increase the risk of getting neck cancer/tumor.
Human papillomavirus infection: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses. They are called papilloma viruses because some of them cause a type of growth called a papilloma, more commonly known as a wart. Infection with certain types of HPV can also cause some forms of neck tumor/cancer.
Genetic syndromes: People with syndromes caused by inherited gene defects (mutations) have a very high risk of throat and other neck cancer. Fanconi anemia: People with this syndrome also have a very high risk of cancer of the throat.
Dyskeratosis congenita: This genetic syndrome can cause throat cancer.
Workplace exposures: Long and intense exposures to wood dust, paint fumes, and certain chemicals used in the metalworking, petroleum, plastics, and textile industries can increase the risk of neck tumors/cancers.
Age: Cancers/tumors of the neck usually develop over many years.
There are many types of head and neck cancers. Here are some of the most common types:
Oropharyngeal cancer - starts in back of the mouth or the throat
Nasal cavity cancer - starts in the opening behind the nose, a space that runs along the top of the roof of the mouth and then turns downward to join the back of the mouth and the throat
Nasopharyngeal cancer - starts in the upper part of the throat behind the nose
Laryngeal cancer - starts in the voice box
Hypopharyngeal cancer - starts in the lower part of the throat beside and behind the voice box
The most common type of cancer in the head and neck area is called carcinoma. These cancers start in the cells that line all parts of the nose, mouth, and throat.
Squamous cell carcinomas: Almost all cancers in the neck develop from thin, flat cells called squamous cells, which are in the epithelium, the innermost layer lining these 2 structures. Cancer that starts in this layer of cells is called squamous cell carcinoma or squamous cell cancer.
Other cancers: Other rare types of cancer can also start in the neck.
Minor salivary gland cancers: Some parts of the neck have tiny glands called minor salivary glands. These glands make mucus and saliva to lubricate and moisten the area. Cancer rarely develops in the cells of these glands.
Sarcomas: Cancers like chondrosarcomas or synovial sarcomas can develop from connective tissues of the neck, but this is extremely rare.
We at CAN-C in Bangalore, have team of specialists who are experts in treating simple and complex neck tumors.
If you have signs or symptoms that suggest you might have a neck tumor, you need to undergo exams or tests to be sure.
Medical history and physical exam: Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, possible risk factors, family history, and other medical problems. A physical exam can help find signs of possible cancer or other diseases. Your doctor will pay very close attention to your neck, looking for abnormal areas in your mouth or throat, as well as swollen lymph nodes in your neck.
After someone is diagnosed with neck tumor or cancer, it is necessary to figure out if tumor/cancer has spread, and if so, how far. This process is called staging. The stage of a cancer describes how much cancer is in the body. It helps determine how serious the tumor/cancer is and how best to treat it.
How is the stage determined?
The staging system most often used for neck tumor or cancer is the TNM system, which is based on 3 key pieces of information:
The extent of the main tumor (T): Where is the tumor? How far has it grown into nearby structures? Has it affected vocal cord movement?
The spread to nearby lymph nodes (N): Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes in the neck? If so, how many are affected, and how large are they?
The spread (metastasis) to distant sites (M): Has the cancer spread to distant parts of the body? (The most common sites of spread are the lungs, liver, or bones.)
CAN-C: Known for technologically advanced centre for neck tumor/cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Not all neck tumors or cancers can be prevented, but the risk of developing these can be greatly reduced by avoiding certain risk factors such as:
Avoiding exposure to tobacco: Tobacco use is the most important cause of these cancers. Avoiding exposure to tobacco (by not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke) lowers the risk of these cancers.
Avoiding alcohol consumption: Heavy alcohol use is a risk factor on its own. It also greatly increases the cancer-causing effect of tobacco smoke, so it's especially important to avoid the combination of drinking and smoking.
Eat healthy diet: Poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies have been linked neck cancers. Eating a balanced, healthy diet may help lower your risk of these cancers (and many others).
Avoid HPV infection: The risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of the throat is increased in those who have oral sex.
Many cancers of the neck can be cured, especially if they are found early. Although eliminating the tumor/cancer is the primary goal of treatment, preserving the function of the nearby nerves, organs, and tissues is also very important. Some of the common types of treatments used for neck tumor or cancer are listed below.
Surgery is commonly used to treat neck tumor or cancers. Depending on the type, stage, location of the tumor, and other tissues involved, different operations may be used to remove the tumor and sometimes other tissues near to it. Surgery might be the only treatment needed for some early stage cancers. It also might be used along with other treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation, for later stage cancers.
After the cancer is removed, reconstructive surgery may be done to help make the changed areas look and work better.
1. Endoscopic surgery: For this surgery, an endoscope is passed down your throat to find the tumor. The endoscope is a long thin tube with a light and camera on the end of it. This can be done to biopsy and treat some early stage tumors of the larynx.
2. Cordectomy: For a cordectomy the surgeon removes all or part of your vocal cords. This can be used to treat very small or superficial glottic (vocal cord) cancers or tumors.
3. Laryngectomy: Laryngectomy is the removal of part or all of the larynx (voice box) using Partial laryngectomy, Total laryngectomy or Total or partial pharyngectomy.
4. Lymph node removal: Cancers of the neck may spread to the lymph nodes in the neck. If lymph node spread is likely, lymph nodes (and other nearby tissues) may be removed from your neck. This operation, called a neck dissection, is done at the same time as the surgery to remove the main tumor.
5. Thyroidectomy: Sometimes the cancer spreads into the thyroid gland and all or part of it must be removed. The thyroid sits in the front of your neck and wraps around to the sides of the trachea (windpipe). It makes hormones that control your metabolism and how your body uses calcium.
Other surgeries that may be needed:
1. Reconstructive surgery: These operations may be done to help restore the structure or function of areas affected by major surgeries needed to remove the tumor or cancer.
2. Tracheostomy/tracheotomy: A tracheostomy (tracheotomy) is when the trachea (windpipe) is connected to a hole (stoma) in the front of the neck to help a person breathe by letting air in and out of the lungs through that hole. It may be used in certain cases.
3. Gastrostomy tube: Cancers in the neck may keep you from swallowing enough food to maintain good nutrition. This can make you weak and make it harder to complete treatment. A gastrostomy tube (G tube) is a feeding tube that's put through the skin and muscle of your abdomen (belly) and right into your stomach.
We are aiming for delivering the most effective neck cancer/tumor treatment in Bangalore with minimally invasive surgeries.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, or particles to kill cancer cells. When treating neck cancers, radiation therapy might be used in several ways:
1. As the main (primary) treatment for some early stage neck tumor/cancers. If the cancer is small, it can often be destroyed by radiation and surgery isn't needed. This can help to preserve better voice quality.
2. To treat patients who are too sick to have surgery.
3. After surgery, to try to kill any small areas of cancer that may remain and help lower the chance the cancer will come back. (This is called adjuvant treatment.)
4. To treat cancer that comes back after treatment (cancer recurrence).
5. To ease symptoms of advanced neck cancer such as pain, bleeding, trouble swallowing, and problems caused when cancer spreads to the bones. (This is called palliative or supportive care.)
There are 2 main types of radiation therapy.
1. External beam radiation therapy: This is the most common type of radiation therapy used to treat neck cancer. Radiation from a source outside the body is focused on the cancer.
Radiation therapy is much like getting an x-ray, but the radiation is much stronger. The procedure itself is painless.
Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT): 3D-CRT uses the results of imaging tests such as MRI and special computers to precisely map the location of the tumor. Several radiation beams are then shaped and aimed at the tumor from different directions. Each beam alone is fairly weak, which makes it less likely to damage normal tissues it passes through, but the beams meet at the tumor to give a higher dose of radiation there.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): IMRT is an advanced form of 3D therapy. It uses a computer-driven machine that actually moves around the patient as it delivers radiation. Along with shaping the beams and aiming them at the tumor from several angles, the intensity (strength) of the beams can be adjusted to limit the dose reaching the most sensitive nearby normal tissues.
2. Brachytherapy: Internal radiation therapy, also known as brachytherapy, uses radioactive material put right into or near the cancer. Brachytherapy may be used alone or along with external beam radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy (chemo) uses anti-cancer drugs that are injected into a vein or given by mouth. These drugs enter the bloodstream and reach all areas of the body, making this treatment useful for cancers that have spread.
Chemo may be used in these ways for neck tumor or cancers:
1. Along with radiation as the main treatment for more advanced cancers of the neck. This treatment, called chemoradiation.
2. As part of chemoradiation after cancer has been removed with surgery. The goal is to try to kill any small areas of cancer that may remain and lower the chance the cancer will come back. This is called adjuvant treatment.
3. Before radiation or surgery to help shrink a large tumor so it's easier to treat or to ease problems it might be causing. This may be called neoadjuvant treatment or induction chemotherapy. It's also thought that tumor response to induction chemo may help in making plans for the next treatment. If there's good response (the tumor shrinks), chemoradiation and organ preservation may be best. If there's little or no tumor response, surgery may be needed.
4. To help relieve symptoms from cancers that are too big or have spread too far to be completely removed with surgery. This may be called supportive or palliative care.
Chemo drugs: Chemo drugs work by attacking cells that are dividing quickly, this includes cancer cells. Some of the chemo drugs commonly used for cancers of the neck include: Cisplatin, Carboplatin, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), Docetaxel (Taxotere®), Paclitaxel (Taxol®), Epirubicin.
Treatment may involve the use of a single drug or 2 or more in combination. A common combination is cisplatin and 5-FU, but other combinations are also used.
When it comes to advanced neck tumor treatment in Bangalore, CAN-C is the best choice.
Targeted drugs work differently from standard chemo drugs. They may work in some cases when chemo doesn't.
Cetuximab (Erbitux®) is a monoclonal antibody, which is a man-made version of an immune system protein. It targets epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a protein on the surface of certain cells that helps them grow and divide. Neck tumor or cancer cells often have more than normal amounts of EGFR. By blocking EGFR, cetuximab can slow or stop cancer cell growth.
Cetuximab may be combined with radiation therapy for some earlier stage cancers. For more advanced cancers, such as those that have spread or come back after treatment, it may be combined with chemo drugs like cisplatin and 5FU, or it may be used by itself. Cetuximab is given by infusion into a vein (IV).
Immunotherapy is the use of medicines that help a person's own immune system find and destroy neck tumor/cancer cells.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors: An important part of the immune system is its ability to keep itself from attacking normal cells in the body. To do this, it uses "checkpoints" - proteins on immune cells that need to be turned on (or off) to start an immune response. Cancer cells sometimes use these checkpoints to avoid being attacked by the immune system. But newer drugs that target these checkpoints hold a lot of promise as cancer treatments.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) are drugs that target PD-1, a protein on immune system cells called T cells that normally helps keep these cells from attacking other cells in the body. By blocking PD-1, these drugs boost the immune response against cancer cells. This can shrink some tumors or slow their growth.
These drugs can be used after chemotherapy in some people with neck tumor/cancer that has returned after treatment or that has spread to other parts of the body. Pembrolizumab is also an option as the first treatment in some people. These drugs are given as an intravenous (IV) infusion.
We at CAN-C aim to advance the patient experience during their neck tumor treatment (in Bangalore) and improve patient outcomes.
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