Charlotte EditionCollier EditionLee EditionSarasota Edition

Focus on Head & Neck Cancers

Focus on Head & Neck CancersLong-term survival of head and neck cancers is increasing. Establishing healthy habits can greatly reduce your risk of developing these and other related cancers.

An estimated 436,060 survivors of head and neck cancer are living in the United States today, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), and that number
continues to grow. Through successful research and clinical trials, as well as early detection, long-term survivorship is possible. Additionally, developing healthy habits will help reduce the risk of these forms of cancer.

Collectively, head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist surfaces inside the head and neck. These include areas inside the mouth, the nose, and the upper throat. In the mouth, or oral cavity, cancer can begin on the lips, in the front two-thirds of the tongue, the gums, the lining inside the cheeks and lips, under the tongue, on the hard palate (bony top of the mouth), and the small area of the gums behind the wisdom teeth. Head and neck cancer also can be found in the pharynx (the tubular structure that starts behind the nose and leads to the esophagus), the larynx (voice box), nasal cavity, sinuses and salivary glands, which produce saliva.

As one might expect, tobacco use and alcohol consumption account for approximately 75% of all head and neck cancer cases. Another important risk factor is human
papillomavirus (HPV) infection. As many as 70% of cancers of the pharynx are linked to high-risk strains of HPV. It is important to take steps to avoid tobacco and alcohol and maintain oral health by taking good care of teeth and dentures and visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

The treatment plan for head and neck cancers can vary greatly, depending on a number of factors, including location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the patient’s age and general health. Treatment can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of treatments.

According to the National Cancer Institute, recent research has shown that patients with HPV-positive pharyngeal tumors may need to be treated differently than patients who do not have the HPV infection. Ongoing clinical trials are investigating this; early results indicate that patients with HPV-positive tumors can “have a better prognosis and may do just as well on less intense treatment.”

The most important thing to remember is taking control of one’s health and reducing risk through changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can greatly impact survivorship.

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) has put together a network of expert, board-certified physicians who bring world‐class cancer treatments to local communities, both large and small, across the state. With nearly 100 locations, FCS is the largest independent oncology/ hematology group in the United States. That status puts the practice on the leading edge of clinical trial research and gives FCS physicians access to the newest, most innovative treatments.

Through a strategic partnership with Sarah Cannon, one of the world’s leading clinical trial organizations, FCS offers more access to national clinical trials than any other oncology practice in Florida. Many of the newer cancer drugs recently approved for use in the United States were studied in clinical trials with FCS
participation, prior to approval.

In addition to a robust clinical research program, Florida Cancer Specialists offers a number of services, such as an in-house specialty pharmacy, an in-house hematopathology lab and financial counselors at every location. Patients can now receive the most advanced care, including immunotherapies, chemotherapy, targeted treatments and cutting-edge, precision technologies, at the same location where they see their oncologist and get their lab tests done, not only increasing convenience for patients, but also improving their quality of life.

Florida Cancer Specialists

Bonita Springs
9776 Bonita Beach Rd SE,
Suite 201A
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Naples – Napa Ridge
6360 Pine Ridge Road,
Suite 201
Naples, FL 34119

Naples – Sierra Meadows
8350 Sierra Meadows Blvd
Naples, FL 34114

For more information, visit


Naples West
681 4th Ave North
Naples, FL 34102


Naples – Goodlette
1100 Goodlette Road
Naples, FL 34102



Related Articles

Back to top button