Head and Neck Cancer Treatment News and Information

What is Head and Neck Cancer? (Definition)

According to the National Cancer Institute, Cancers that are known collectively as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). These squamous cell cancers are often referred to as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Head and neck cancers can also begin in the salivary glands, but salivary gland cancers are relatively uncommon. Salivary glands contain many different types of cells that can become cancerous, so there are many different types of salivary gland cancer.

Cancers of the head and neck are further categorized by the area of the head or neck in which they begin. These areas include:

Oral cavity: Includes the lips, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the gums, the lining inside the cheeks and lips, the floor (bottom) of the mouth under the tongue, the hard palate (bony top of the mouth), and the small area of the gum behind the wisdom teeth.

Pharynx: The pharynx (throat) is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose and leads to the esophagus. It has three parts: the nasopharynx (the upper part of the pharynx, behind the nose); the oropharynx (the middle part of the pharynx, including the soft palate [the back of the mouth], the base of the tongue, and the tonsils); the hypopharynx (the lower part of the pharynx).

Larynx: The larynx, also called the voicebox, is a short passageway formed by cartilage just below the pharynx in the neck. The larynx contains the vocal cords. It also has a small piece of tissue, called the epiglottis, which moves to cover the larynx to prevent food from entering the air passages.

Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity: The paranasal sinuses are small hollow spaces in the bones of the head surrounding the nose. The nasal cavity is the hollow space inside the nose.

Salivary glands: The major salivary glands are in the floor of the mouth and near the jawbone. The salivary glands produce saliva.

See below for updated news and information regarding Head and Neck Cancer including new medical research, treatment options and advancements. 

Latest Head and Neck Cancer Treatment News and Research

Head and Neck Cancer Treatment News: A surprise advance in the treatment of adult cancers

(SOURCE: MCGILL UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTRE) - Researchers at the RI-MUHC have made a discovery that could improve care for about 15% of patients with head and neck cancer linked to alcohol and tobacco use. A team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has found an epigenetic modification that might be the cause of 15% of ...
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Oropharyngeal Cancer Research News: Predicting Throat Cancer Recurrence with a Blood Test

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM) - A new study suggests the possibility of predicting at its earliest stages when a type of head and neck cancer will come back. Oropharyngeal cancer — which occurs in the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue — is frequently linked to the human papilloma virus (HPV). That’s good news, in a way, as HPV-related ...
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Head & Neck Cancer Research News: Blood-borne HPV antibodies indicate head, neck cancer prognosis

(SOURCE: BROWN UNIVERSITY) - A new study in JAMA Oncology finds that the presence of particular antibodies of human papillomavirus in blood serum are reliable indicators of five-year head and neck cancer survival. People with head and neck cancers with evidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection generally have a better prognosis than people without evidence of infection. A new study in ...
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Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment News: Researchers Discover Possible Way To Reduce Growth of Head and Neck Cancers

(UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI ACADEMIC HEALTH CENTER) According to a recent press release, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have discovered that an ion channel, active within T cells (white blood cells), could be targeted to reduce the growth of head and neck cancers ...
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