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Wellness: April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Wellness: April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Published on: April 29, 2024

Categories: Health & Wellness

According to the American Association for Cancer Research, Head and Neck Cancers account for 4% of all cancers in the United States.

In 2023, the National Cancer Institute notes that 66,920 cases occurred in the United States of some type of head and neck cancer.

What is head and neck cancer?

Head and neck cancer includes cancers that start in the regions of the head/neck and may consist of many different tissue areas, including:

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of head and neck cancer can vary but typically include lumps or sores that do not heal. Sore throats, difficulty swallowing, and hoarse voice are symptoms if they persist.

What is the risk factor?

Out of all the risks, tobacco usage is the single most significant factor—those who smoke, chew, and dip have considerably higher chances of head and neck cancers. Alcohol use, infection of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), poor mouth care, sun exposure, and more can play a role. Certain exposures at work to sulfuric acid, nickel, wood dust, paint fumes, etc., can also lead to an increased risk of developing head and neck cancer.

These types of cancers are more common among men and individuals over the age of 50. However, these factors are not always the cause; often, family history and age, things not in your control, can affect your risks.

Research on head and neck cancer treatments is still ongoing.

Danella wants to spread the message about preventive care this April. It is essential to seek medical attention and see your physician when something seems wrong. Catching cancer early can lead to a higher chance of remission.

Learn more about Head and Neck Cancers by clicking here.

Sources: BHS Wellness, American Association for Cancer Research