Diseases Cancer

What Is Neck Cancer

Introduction

What is cancer? It is the growth of those cells in our body which cannot be controlled. Cancerous cells are known as malignant cells. But if we try to get some understanding about neck cancer, you will discover that it is the type of cancer that begins in squamous cells which lies in the moist, muscosal surface inside the neck (the throat); these cancer cells are often termed as squamous cell carcinomas of neck. Neck cancer includes the cancer of larynx (voice box) and the cancer of lymph nodes (upper part of the neck), it is also known as metastatic squamous neck cancer.

History

We have discussion of cancer from ancient times but neck cancer was not common and mostly people were unaware of this type of cancer as the percentage was quite low. But as it increases people left it untreated and many died before they could be diagnosed for treatment. From 1953 to 1990, almost 808 people died because of untreated neck cancer. Patients were given supportive care, but no medical treatment was initiated, and the patient’s refusal for treatment was another reason. Almost 50 percent of those diagnosed with neck cancer die within four months of their diagnosis. Before 1980, this disease was cured through traditional therapy, however due to the poor results obtained with this method of treatment systematic chemotherapy was introduced in mid of 1970s. In 1998 neck cancer week was set in United States to make people aware of this disease.

Features

The features of neck cancer constitute an unhealed wound or a lump, irritating throat, uneven or discordant voice, swelling of one or more of the glands (lymph nodes) in the neck and difficulty in swallowing. Such symptoms can also be visible due to other less serious disease but consultation from a specialist is must. Uneven voice is often the first symptom of cancer of larynx, as even a small tumor can stop the working of vocal cords. But if the cancer has started elsewhere in the larynx, the first symptoms may be a wound in the throat which will cause irritation or pain in swallowing, prolonged earache and increase in the feeling of restlessness. These are few features of neck cancer we all must be aware of.

Tips and comments

The first and foremost thing is consulting a specialist, because ignorance always leads to death. In the case of neck cancer, three steps are involved which include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. The need of all three depends on the stage of cancer, and varies from person to person. This type of cancer has four stages; the first is curable where as the second and the third one are quite difficult to cure, but now due to advancements in medical field, in science and technology, it can be cured effectively. But it becomes difficult even today to cure it in fourth stage. So visiting a doctor should be mandatory if the symptom arises consistently more than two weeks. No need to panic, because neck cancer can be cured through advanced scientific methods.

By Kennedy Jacob, published at 03/08/2012
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