Each year, more than 55,000 Americans will develop head and neck cancer. Benjamin Liess, MD, FACS, is here to diagnose and treat these cancers.
We offer care for patients with all types and stages of head and neck tumors (cancerous and noncancerous).
We help you through all stages of cancer treatment – diagnosis, tumor staging, treatment and long-term follow-up care. We help to coordinate treatments with other local specialists to provide you the highest quality of service.
We will also consider nonsurgical treatment options, including simultaneous radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Early warning signs of head and neck cancer include:
When found early, many cancers in the head and neck can be cured with few side effects. Cure rates for some cancers would be significantly improved if people would seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you detect warning signs of head and neck cancer, see Dr. Liess immediately.
Cancers of the head and neck usually begin in the squamous cells that line the surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). Head and neck cancers can also begin in the salivary glands but are relatively uncommon.
Cancers of the head and neck are categorized by the area of the head or neck where they begin. These areas are described below.
Alcohol and tobacco use (including smokeless tobacco, sometimes called “chewing tobacco” or “snuff”) are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers, especially cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx. Nearly 75 percent of head and neck cancers are caused by tobacco and alcohol use. People who use both products are at higher risk of developing these cancers than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone.
Infection with cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV), especially HPV-16, is a risk factor for some types of head and neck cancers, particularly oropharyngeal cancers that involve the tonsils or the base of the tongue. In the United States, the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers caused by HPV infection is increasing, while the rate of oropharyngeal cancers related to other causes is falling.
Other risk factors for cancers of the head and neck include the following: