Head and Neck Cancer
At The Lacks Cancer Center at Saint Mary's Health Care our cancer treatment programs are increasing hope everyday, thanks to a unique multidisciplinary model of care, which incorporates a staff of progressive physicians, and the most innovative technologies available.
In addition to this model, we continually review and apply the latest anti-cancer drugs, the newest staging and imaging techniques — such as PET/CT scan technology — and the most effective surgical procedures to ensure the best outcomes in the treatment of head and neck cancers.
Head and Neck Cancer Overview
Most head and neck cancers begin in the mucus lining of hollow organs or cavities, such as the mouth, nose and throat. More common in men and in individuals over the age of fifty, these cancers are primarily caused by the use of tobacco (chewing, smoking and snuff) and alcohol.
In fact, around 85% of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use.
Head and Neck Cancers are often found in these areas:
Oral Cavity: The lips, tongue, floor of the mouth, gums, behind the wisdom teeth, cheek lining and/or lips all make up the oral cavity.
Salivary Gland: Located near the jawbone and on the floor of the mouth, these glands produce saliva (or spit).
Paranasal Sinuses and Nasal Cavity: The paranasal sinuses are the hollow spaces made of bone that surround the nose. And, the nasal cavity is a hollow space found inside the nose.
Pharynx: This 5 inch long, hollow tube begins behind the nose and leads to the esophagus (the tube that goes to the stomach) and the trachea (the tube that goes to the lungs). The pharynx is made up of three main parts: the nasopharynx, (upper pharynx), the oropharynx, which includes the soft palate in the mouth, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils, and the hypopharynx (lower pharynx).
Larynx: Protected by a small piece of tissue called the epiglottis, the larynx is a short "tube" found just below the pharynx, which contains the vocal cords.
To consult with one of our oncologists, simply ask your primary care physician for a referral or make a self-referral by calling 1-877-LACKS-MI or 616-685-LACK(S).