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Head and Neck Cancers

Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

Diverse group of malignancies; many histologic types. The vast majority (~90%) of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC—the focus of this review). 
  • Characterized b...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Historical features vary based on site of tumor. Symptoms are nonspecific, making diagnosis difficult. 
  • Symptoms may include sore throat, ear pain, dysphagia, chronic cough, stridor, v...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Tobacco and alcohol cessation

  • Treatment approach depends on functional status, goals of therapy, TNM staging, and other contextual factors.

    • Single-modality treatment (surgery...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommend follow-up every 1 to 3 months for 1 year, every 2 to 6 months in the 2nd year, every 4 to 8 mont...

REFERENCES

1
Hamoir M, Vander Poorten V, Chantrain G, et al. Initial work-up in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. B-ENT.  2005;(Suppl 1):129–132. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Bonner JA, Har...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Baxi S, Fury M, Ganly I, et al. Ten years of progress in head and neck cancers. J Natl Compr Canc Netw.  2012;10(7):806–810. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]

  • Benson E, Li R, Eisel...

CODES

ICD10

  • C14.0 Malignant neoplasm of pharynx, unspecified

  • C32.9 Malignant neoplasm of larynx, unspecified

  • C08.9 Malignant neoplasm of major salivary gland, unspecified

  • C11.9 Malignant neoplasm of nasop...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers are often nonspecific necessitating a high index of suspicion based on identifiable risk factors.

  • A multidisciplinary approach with radiation...

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