A group of similar cancers originating in the mouth, nose, lip, pharynx, larynx and sinuses together are referred to as head and neck cancer. Smoking or chewing tobacco, betel, heavy consumption of alcohol and a poor diet are some of the lifestyle factors that are known to increase the chances of head and neck cancer. Apart from this UV radiation, carcinogenic chemicals used in workplace or introduced into food and certain strains of virus in humans are known to be some of the leading causes of head and neck cancer. Though they are highly curable if detected early, the head and neck cancers tend to be biologically very aggressive and have a tendency to spread and cause cancer in another head and neck region. Mostly surgical procedures are employed to remove such cancer and sometimes radiation therapy and chemotherapy play a vital role.

Though the cause of head and neck cancer in most of the cases are still unknown, all the negative lifestyle habits like consumption of tobacco and alcohol and influence of some cancer causing human virus increase the risk of head and neck cancer tremendously. Symptoms of throat include some harmless indications like sore throat, bad breath or hoarse voice, but for people with cancer these symptoms become persistent and chronic. A lump in the neck that does not cure or difficulty in swallowing and speaking are some of the other symptoms of throat or neck cancer. Other symptoms of head and neck cancer include neck pain, unusual bleeding from the mouth, sore tongue and numbness in the mouth, lump in lip, mouth or gums, sinus congestion, slurring of speech, change in diet or sudden loss of weight, patches in the mouth that do not go away and painless ulcers in mouth that fail to heal. Persistent ear ache or difficulty in hearing is also some of the symptoms of cancer in the head and neck area. Head and neck cancer is curable if diagnosed on time with proper medication and a healthy lifestyle that helps the body recover and recuperate.

Summary: The symptoms are very clear and a detailed investigation and diagnosis at an early stage helps beat head and neck cancer. As no definite causes are known it is considered that people at least refrain from negative lifestyle like chewing or smoking of tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol amongst others to prevent occurrence of cancer.