Certain factors can make one person more likely to get head and neck cancer than another person. These are called risk factors. However, just because you have one or more risk factors does not mean that you will definitely get head and neck cancer. In fact, you can have many risk factors and still not develop the disease. On the other hand, you can have no risk factors and still get head and neck cancer.
Many people with head and neck cancer experience symptoms such as:
These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other problems. It is important to see a doctor about any symptoms like these so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
A Many people with cancer get a second opinion from another doctor. There are many reasons to get a second opinion. Here are some of those reasons:
There are many ways to get a second opinion:
Ask a primary care doctor. Your doctor may be able to recommend a specialist. This may be a surgeon, medical oncologist, or radiation oncologist. Sometimes these doctors work together at cancer centers or programs.
Call the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service. The number is 8004CANCER (8004226237). They provide information about treatment facilities, including cancer centers and other programs supported by the National Cancer Institute.
Seek other options. Check with a local medical society, hospital, medical school, or cancer advocacy group to get names of doctors who can give you a second opinion. Or ask other people who have had your type of cancer to refer you to someone.
Treatment depends on the type of cancer you have, where it is, and its stage. Common treatments for head and neck cancer include radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.