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Getting a diagnosis of head and neck cancer can be frightening and overwhelming. Sometimes having extra knowledge can help assuage the anxiety. That’s why our Anchorage cancer center doctors have compiled this list of frequently asked questions and their answers.

What Are Some Common Risk Factors for Head and Neck Cancer?

Many patients who develop cancer in the head and neck meet some of the risk factors, but many do not. Here are some commonalities:

  • Gender: Head and neck cancers are two to three times more likely to develop in men.
  • Race: Some types are cancer are prevalent among black patients.
  • Lifestyle: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may be linked to head and neck cancers.
  • Age: People older than 40 are more susceptible.
  • Viruses: HPV and Epstein-Barr virus have been linked to head and neck cancers.
  • Sun exposure: Excessive exposure to sunlight can contribute to an increased risk.
  • Workplace hazards: Airborne contaminants can cause problems in the long term.

Is a “Second Opinion” Important After Every Diagnosis?

If you will be put at ease by having your doctor’s diagnosis backed by a second opinion, we advise you to get one. Here are some other reasons patients seek input from a different doctor:

  •    Discomfort with treatment plan
  •    Finding out they have a rare type of cancer
  •    Inability to see a cancer specialist
  •    Having a different opinion on the best treatment path

What Are the Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancers?

These can difficult to pinpoint because symptoms often are mirrored by other medical conditions. However, here are some of the most common signs:

  • Sores that don’t heal (very common)
  • Lumps in different parts of the head or neck, with or without pain
  • Difficult time breathing, swallowing or speaking
  • Pain in the ear
  • Chronic sinus infections

How Do Doctors Treat Head and Neck Cancers?

At our Anchorage head and neck cancer treatment center, we have many advanced technological tools at our disposal for treatment.

Find the Answers You Seek

You can get the answers to all your specific cancer therapy options by meeting with one of our specialists. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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