Head and neck cancer is a complicated disease. It can be caused by a wide variety of factors and can be diagnosed and treated by an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Your ENT specialist wants you to find out all you can about prevention, symptoms, and treatment of head and neck cancer.
These are just a few important facts you need to know about head and neck cancer:
Prevention of Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer are often caused by smoking or other tobacco use. Quitting tobacco use is one of the most important ways you can help prevent head and neck cancer. You should also do a self-check of your head and neck regularly. You need to pay attention to:
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- Large moles, with a diameter of 6 millimeters or more
- Moles with an irregular border
- Moles that have changed in size, shape, or color
- Moles that have grown back after previous removal
Signs and Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer
There are some identifiable signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer for you to pay attention to, including:
- Chronic earaches that don’t resolve quickly
- Chronic sore throats that last longer than 2 weeks
- Chronic pain and difficulty swallowing
- A growth in your mouth or throat
- Abnormal tissue in your mouth or throat
- Moles that appear abnormal on your skin
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck that don’t resolve
Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer
Your ENT specialist is an expert at diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer. Diagnosis may require imaging studies including MRI, CT scan, and others. Lab testing may also be required, along with a biopsy of abnormal tissue or growths.
Along with diagnosis, your ENT can treat head and neck cancer with several treatment options, including:
- Surgery to remove cancerous tissue or growths
- Radiation therapy to kill abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous cells
- Immunotherapy to kill cancerous cells and stop future growth of cancer
You can get help for head and neck cancer by calling your ENT specialist. To find out more about prevention, symptoms, and treatment of head and neck cancer, call your ENT specialist today.
Sinus infections are a common problem. In fact, over 12% of people in this country suffer from chronic sinus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC. Fortunately, your ENT specialist can help you get relief from sinus infections, so you can breathe easier again.
Sinus infections can be caused by exposure to a bacteria, a fungus, or to an allergen. They can also develop after having the flu, a cold, or other virus.
Sinus infection symptoms can make you miserable. When you have a sinus infection, you may experience:
- A fever
- Severe headaches
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Pain and pressure around and behind your eyes
For occasional sinus infections, your ENT specialist may recommend:
- Antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection
- Prescription-strength decongestants to open your sinuses
- Palliative medications and treatments to help you feel better
For chronic, moderate to severe sinus infections, your ENT specialist may recommend a procedure known as balloon sinuplasty. This procedure has many important advantages when compared to traditional sinus surgery.
Consider that balloon sinuplasty treatment:
- Is minimally invasive and requires no incisions or sutures
- Does not result in scarring or scar tissue
- Is less likely to cause infection because there is no cutting
- Causes far less discomfort than conventional sinus surgery
- Requires little or no downtime because there is very little bruising and swelling
- Is performed on an outpatient basis so there is no hospital stay
Balloon sinuplasty treatment is performed under general anesthesia. An ultrathin catheter is inserted into your nostril and guided up into your sinuses. The catheter has a small balloon attached at the end.
When the catheter reaches the sinus blockage, the balloon is inflated. The blockage is eliminated, congestion is relieved, and you can breathe freely again. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter is removed.
You can get relief from sinus infections. Your ENT specialist has the answers and treatments you need to be able to breathe freely and easily. To find out more about sinus infections and how your ENT specialist can help you get relief, call your ENT specialist today.
A hoarse throat can develop with or without pain. There are several factors which can cause hoarseness, including:
- A virus like the flu or a cold
- A bacterial infection like strep throat
- An allergic reaction to an allergen
- Laryngitis, or inflammation in your throat
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
- Esophageal cancer
For mild hoarseness, you can try a few simple remedies to help get relief. Remember to:
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of liquids
- Drink warm tea with honey to soothe your throat
- Gargle with warm salt water several times during the day
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol
- Place a humidifier in your bedroom to breathe moist, soothing air
For moderate to severe hoarseness that doesn’t resolve or is getting worse, you need to seek out the expertise of your ENT specialist. You also need to seek out your ENT specialist if your hoarseness is accompanied by:
- Joint pain, a rash, or a fever over 101 degrees
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing or opening your mouth
- A lump in your neck, earache, or blood in your saliva
Professional treatments for hoarseness include:
- Antibiotic medication, if your hoarseness is caused by a bacterial infection, like strep throat
- Antiviral medication, if your hoarseness is caused by a virus like a cold or the flu
If the cause of your hoarseness is not easily identifiable, your ENT specialist may also recommend a diagnostic procedure known as an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, a thin tube with a camera at one end is inserted into your throat and guided down your esophagus. The endoscope allows your ENT specialist to view your esophagus. If any abnormal tissue or growths are found, they can be removed for biopsy.
An endoscopy is especially effective in the diagnosis of:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Esophageal polyps or growths
- Esophageal damage or ulcers
- Esophageal cancer
No matter what is causing your hoarseness, an ear, nose, and throat specialist can help. If you are suffering from hoarseness or a sore throat, talk with an expert. Call your ENT specialist today.
Occasional snoring is normal, but if you are being told you snore loudly every night, you could have something else. You could have sleep apnea, a sleep condition that can have serious consequences and can even shorten your life. Your ENT specialist is an expert at treating snoring and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is caused by the intermittent relaxing of the tissue at the back of your throat. The relaxed tissue partially or completely blocks your airway while you sleep, depriving your body of oxygen.
Your brain, heart, and other vital organs are affected by the lack of blood flow, putting you at greater risk of:
- Developing heart disease
- Having a stroke
- Developing diabetes
- Acquiring memory problems
You are at greater risk of developing sleep apnea as you age, and if you are overweight. You may have sleep apnea if you are experiencing:
- Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation
- Headaches and a sore throat when you awaken
- Feeling fatigued and tired during the day
- Grogginess and problems concentrating
Your ENT specialist will need to have you do a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. If you have sleep apnea, your ENT specialist will discuss treatment options with you, which can include:
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine; is a device that produces a continuous supply of oxygen. You breathe the oxygen through a facepiece, which you wear while sleeping.
An oral mandibular advancement appliance; is a small appliance that fits over your teeth and holds your lower jaw forward, keeping your airway open while you sleep.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can go untreated. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, or if your family members tell you about your snoring, take it seriously. It’s time to call your ENT specialist for a sleep study to see if you are suffering from sleep apnea. To find out more about sleep apnea signs, symptoms, and treatment, call your ENT specialist today.
Viruses, infections and conditions of the ears, nose, and throat can be complicated. That’s why it’s important to visit a specialist, known as an ENT doctor. ENT doctors are the experts you need.
ENT doctors go through additional specialized training beyond medical school. This additional training provides them with the expertise to help with ear, nose, throat, and sinus problems.
Sometimes an ear, nose, and throat problem will go away on its own, but not always. So, when should you see an ENT doctor?
If you have an ear, nose, throat, sinuses, head, or neck condition which has lasted longer than 7 to 10 days. You should also visit an ENT doctor if you have:
- A fever that continues for more than 3 days
- Pain in your ears, throat, nose, head, or neck which doesn’t go away
- A discharge coming from your ears
- A green or yellow discharge coming from your nose
- Sinus pain and pressure that doesn’t go away
The signs and symptoms listed above could be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection. Your ENT doctor can diagnose the cause of the problem and administer treatment, so you feel better.
Viral and bacterial infections are just two reasons why you need to see an ENT doctor. There are many more, including if you suffer from:
- Hearing loss
- Thyroid problems
- Chronic sore throats
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- Tinnitus, or ringing in your ears
Your ENT doctor offers a wide variety of services and treatments to help you stay healthy. You might visit an ENT doctor for:
- Allergy testing and treatment
- Balloon sinuplasty or sinus issues
- Hearing aids or hearing loss
If you have problems breathing, difficulty swallowing, hearing issues, or pain in your ears, nose, throat, or sinuses, it’s time to visit your ENT doctor.
Your ENT doctor can help you breathe better, hear better, and live more comfortably, so call your ENT doctor today.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.