State-Of-The-Art Cancer Treatments
As head and neck surgeons, the physicians at Boulder Valley Ear Nose and Throat treat all types of tumors (benign or malignant) in this region. Whether the problem arises in the thyroid, parotid, or submandibular gland, or is a head and neck cancer originating from somewhere in the throat, the physicians of Boulder Valley Ear, Nose and Throat are experts at managing these issues.
Head and Neck Cancer: Head and neck cancer includes cancers of the mouth, nose, sinuses, salivary glands, throat and lymph nodes in the neck. Most begin in the moist tissues that line the mouth, nose and throat. Symptoms include:
- A lump or sore that does not heal
- A sore throat that does not go away
- Trouble swallowing
- A change or hoarseness in the voice
Using tobacco or alcohol increases your risk. In fact, 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use, including smoking and smokeless tobacco. If found early, these cancers are often curable. Treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination. Treatments can affect eating, speaking or even breathing, so patients may need rehabilitation.
- Tumors arising from the thyroid gland can be benign or malignant. There is no way to definitively know if a tumor is cancerous without removing the involved portion of the gland and checking with a pathologist. Statistically, most tumors are benign. Some diagnostic testing can be done to help decide how to manage these tumors, but surgical removal remains the only definitive way to establish the diagnosis. High risk groups include women, people over the age of 40, those with a family history of thyroid cancer, and patients with a history of radiation exposure.
- Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is often very indolent, slow growing and treatable with a high cure rate, especially if caught early. Make sure to consult with a physician if you are experiencing a lump in the neck, difficulty swallowing or breathing, a pain in the neck, or hoarseness.
Parotid and submandibular gland tumors
- Salivary gland tumors
The parotid and submandibular glands are paired (right and left) in the neck and help produce saliva. Tumors can develop in these glands and are usually benign. The only symptom that people will usually notice is a lump or growth in the neck. Surgical removal of these tumors is the mainstay of treatment because it provides a definitive diagnosis, and is usually curative. If the tumor is malignant, other forms of therapy may also be recommended.