When people hear about cancer and its risks, they often panic. No one wants to be faced with a cancer diagnosis because it can be frightening and leave a person feeling uncertain about their future. While head and neck cancer account for only around 4% of all cancers, it is essential individuals know about the risks of head and neck cancer. Protecting a person’s health begins with knowing the facts.
Facts About Neck Cancer
Learning as much as possible about neck cancer is vital for ensuring a person is able to protect their health. Unfortunately, the symptoms caused by neck cancer can often mimic symptoms of other conditions that are benign in nature. This is why many people are not properly diagnosed in the beginning stages. The following are some of the facts individuals need to know about neck cancer.
- People over the age of 50 are most commonly diagnosed with this type of cancer
- The five-year survival rate for neck cancer is around 76%
- Pain and swelling in the neck are two of the most common symptoms
- Neck cancer can cause fever, night sweats, and weight loss
- Neck cancer occurs more often in those who use tobacco products
Neck cancer can occur in people of all ages, but it generally does not begin until middle age or older. Those who smoke or use tobacco products are in greater danger, along with those who drink alcohol on a regular basis.
How Is Neck Cancer Diagnosed?
Most people are diagnosed because they are examined by their family doctor and begin talking about some of the symptoms above. Bloodwork can begin to reveal problems with the health, but imaging studies and biopsies are often needed when there is a chance cancer is in the body.
Once the cancer has been discovered, the patient will be sent to an oncologist for staging and treatment options. Most people respond well to a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, depending on how soon their cancer was diagnosed. With treatment, neck cancer can be destroyed so a person can improve their health and protect themselves against a future cancer reoccurrence.