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Head and Neck Cancer Blog | 25 April 2022, Monday

Why Is Head and Neck Cancer Increasing?


To begin with, head and neck cancers are common in several regions of the world.

The primary risk factors associated with these cancers include tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and infections like human papillomavirus (HPV) infection (for oropharyngeal cancer) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (for nasopharyngeal cancer).

The chronic exposure of the upper respiratory tract to these carcinogenic factors results in malignant lesions in the oropharyngeal mucosa that ultimately lead to head and neck cancer.

There has been a steady rise in head and neck cancers over the past few decades.

From 1990 to 2021, incidence rates for larynx and nasopharyngeal cancers have decreased but increased for oro/hypopharyngeal cancers and lip/oral cavity cancers.

However, these are markedly higher among men than women. Therefore, it is essential to know about this cancer and its treatment. So let’s take a glance at it.

What are head and neck cancers?

The mouth, nose, throat, salivary glands, and other head and neck regions are all affected by cancer. Some people with head and neck cancer don’t have any following symptoms.

A symptom of this cancer is something others may detect and measure, such as a fever, rash, or an elevated pulse. When signs and symptoms are combined, they might help define a medical disease.


  • The most common symptom is swelling or a persistent sore that does not heal.
  • In the mouth, there is a red or white patch.
  • With or without pain, a lump, bulge, or mass in the head or neck
  • Sore throat that won’t go away
  • Mouth odor
  • Hoarseness or a shift in the tone of voice
  • Nasal blockage or chronic nasal congestion
  • Nasal bleeding regularly
  • Breathing problems


  • Smoking – Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smokers are six times more likely to acquire
  • Mouth cancer than non-smokers.
  • Smokeless tobacco – People who use dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco are 50 times more likely to develop malignancies of the cheeks, gums, and lips lining.
  • Excessive alcohol use – Drinkers are six times more likely than non-drinkers to develop oral cancer. Using smoke and alcohol at the same time enhances your chances much more.
  • Cancer runs in the family.
  • Excessive sun exposure, especially in summers.
  • Age – Oral cancer can take years to develop. After the age of 55, most people discover they have it. However, malignancies linked to HPV are becoming increasingly common in younger men.
  • Gender – Oral cancer is at least once or twice as common in men. It might be because men consume more alcohol and smoke than women.
  • According to studies, poor diet – Oral cancer has been linked to not eating enough vegetables and fruits.

Why is this cancer increasing?

Head and neck cancer affects roughly twice as many males as it does women. In addition, people over the age of 50 are more likely to be diagnosed with them.

Over the last 30 years, the face of head and neck cancer has evolved considerably.

Over the last 30 years, the number of tobacco and alcohol-related carcinomas has steadily decreased, but the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers has increased.

Head and Neck Cancer treatment Types

Head and neck cancer patients are treated by radiation oncologists who are professionals. In addition, an oncologist will devise a treatment strategy that considers the tumor’s size and shape down to the millimeter.

The doctor aims to kill tumor cells while avoiding treatment side effects by protecting healthy cells around the tumor. Here’s where you can learn more about the various ways to head and neck cancer therapy.

– Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is a type of radiotherapy that uses proton beams rather than photon beams to treat patients. Protons do not enter the tumor. As a result, proton therapy minimizes the risk of adverse effects from natural tissue damage.

Proton therapy allows us to apply a higher radiation dose to the tumor. Furthermore, it maximizes the possibility of eliminating it because there may be fewer adverse effects. For many people, proton treatment is incredibly beneficial.

– Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT))

Intensity-modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) combines sophisticated computer software with a metal instrument collimator.

These technologies enable your treatment team to precisely mold the radiation beams to the treatment area’s dimensions. In addition, a team of experts gathers extensive information about the treatment region before the initiation of radiation therapy.

– Chemoradiation

Chemotherapy may be used as part of a head, and neck cancer treatment regimen Chemoradiation is a treatment that combines radiation and chemotherapy. Doctors utilize the systemic treatment drug cisplatin during Chemoradiation for head and neck cancer. Based on which side effects are more accessible for you to manage, your doctor may offer a different pharmacological therapy that is similarly effective.

– Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is the process of implanting radioactive material into the body. The radiation released by this source causes cancer cells in the region to lose their DNA.

– Surgery

Transoral robotic surgery, endoscopic skull base surgery, and transoral laser microsurgery are used by doctors whenever possible. These procedures have a faster recovery period, but they also produce far superior results than more traditional methods.

– Radiation

Depending on your situation, advanced radiation therapies, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy and proton beam therapy, will be available to you. Proton beam therapy is a more accurate form of radiation appropriate for malignancies near other essential organs.

– Chemotherapy or immunotherapy are two options.

Chemotherapy may be recommended to treat your cancer in specific instances. Other medication therapies, such as immunotherapy and targeted drug therapy, may be available based on your needs.


Make an appointment with an oncologist as soon as possible if you’re experiencing head and neck cancer symptoms. You have a better chance of getting treated if you are diagnosed early. Also, keep your physique in good shape.

It may take time, patience, and money to recover from cancer, but it is doable. Every day, remind yourself to be positive and have faith in yourself. Rather than focusing on cancer, make the most of the situation and not lose hope!

To know more details on head and neck cancer, connect to our experts now!

If you suffer from any type of cancer, you can visit our hospital. We are one of the best cancer hospitals in Mumbai. Having a skilled oncologist team that will help you can improve the quality of your life