Head and Neck Cancer: Treatment Options
Head and neck cancer includes cancers of the mouth, nose sinuses, salivary glands and throat. Extensive use of tobacco and alcohol can increase the risk of head and neck cancer.
Signs of head and neck cancer
Let’s have a look at some of the symptoms of head and neck cancer
- Swelling or a sore that does not heal
- Red or white patch in the mouth
- Persistent sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Double vision
- Jaw pain
- Loosening of teeth
- Ear pain or infection
- Treatment options
Let’s take a look at some of the treatment options for head and neck cancer:
The most common type of treatment is radiation therapy which is used in this treatment by use of external beam radiation therapy. During this therapy, the radiation treatment is given from an external machine that generates the radiation. Proton therapy and IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) are some of the radiation therapies which can help in the treatment of head and neck therapy.
In this therapy, the doctors use drugs to destroy the cancer cells. However, this therapy has a few side effects such as fatigue, risk of infection, nausea etc.
In this treatment, the oncologists target cancer’s specific genes, proteins that help in the cancer’s growth and survival. Doctors try to destroy only the abnormal cells without causing any harm to the functioning of the normal cells.
The main aim of immunotherapy is to restore the normal functioning of the immune system. There are 2 immunotherapy drugs i.e. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) that are approved by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of the patients suffering from head and neck cancer.
Researchers are finding new and new ways of treatment and the search for a cure for head and neck cancer.