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Head & Neck Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Risk Factors

  • Symptoms: Symptoms of several head and neck cancers may include a lump or sore that does not heal; a persistent sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or hoarseness.
  • Diagnosis: To diagnose a head and neck cancer, your doctor will perform a physical examination, order diagnostic tests that correspond with your symptoms, and will examine a sample of your tissue. You may also undergo endoscopy, blood or urine tests, X-ray, CT scan, and MRI.
  • Treatment: Treatments for head and neck cancers depend on the location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, your age, and your general health. You may need surgery to remove the tumor, which may change your ability to chew, swallow, or talk; radiation; and chemotherapy.
  • Risk Factors: Tobacco and alcohol use are the most common risk factors for head and neck cancers.
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