Head and Neck Cancer Programme

The Head and Neck Cancer Programme aims to maximise the quality of life of the patients through various endoscopic procedures, major and minor resections, organ preservation surgeries, as well as complex reconstructions, including free flaps.

Programme highlights are:

  • Multiple treatment approaches for Head and Neck Cancer focusing on preserving function, appearance and achieving positive outcome
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery wherever possible, for e.g. Endoscopic Laser Laryngeal Surgery
  • Advanced Radiation Therapy and chemo-radiation approaches that limit toxicity and improves results
  • Skull Base Surgery, Endoscopic or open, performed by highly experienced teams that work closely together with Neurosurgeons and Radiation Oncologists


What Is Head And Neck Cancer?

Head and Neck Cancer is a type of Cancer that develops in the mouth, throat, salivary glands, nose, voice-box, Oral Cancers or other areas of the head and neck. It usually begins in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck. The different types of Head and Neck Cancers are known as Squamous Cell Carcinomas and are categorised as:

  • Oral Cavity Cancer
  • Oropharyngeal Cancer (tongue, tonsils, etc.)
  • Thyroid Cancers
  • Nasopharyngeal Cancer
  • Cancers of the Larynx
  • Cancer of the Salivary Glands
  • Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer

What Are The Indications For Head and Neck Cancer?

Signs and Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer are:

  • Aching or swelling or ulcer in the head or neck that does not heal.
  • A patch of red or white colour in the mouth
  • Painful or painless lump, bump or mass in the head or neck area
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Constant sore throat
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Ear pain or discharge
  • Double vision
  • Foul mouth odour that is not usual
  • Hoarseness or change in voice
  • Lasting nasal congestion or nasal obstruction
  • Unusual nasal discharge, frequent nose bleeds or both
  • Weakness or numbness in the head and neck region
  • Difficulty in chewing, swallowing or moving the tongue, jaw, etc.
  • Traces of blood in the saliva or phlegm

How Is Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosed?

  • Physical examination
  • HPV Testing
  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy or FNAC
  • Staging Tests
    1. USG
    2. CT Scan
    3. MRI
    4. PET-CT

Treatment Options For Head And Neck Cancer

Head & Neck Cancer can be managed through various processes which remove or destroy cancer cells. These may include surgical processes, therapies or a combination of both.

  • Surgical Process: There are five types of surgeries performed to remove cancer tumour:
    1. Robotic Surgery: An advanced MIS technique that treats complex cancer cases through an incision, facilitating better surgical andcosmetic outcomes.
    2. Laser Surgery: Any early-stage tumour found in the larynx and  targeted using laser technology
    3. Excision: Removal of cancerous tumour and some surrounding healthy tissues
    4. Lymph Node Dissection or Neck Dissection: An advanced cancer treatment to remove lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Radiation Therapy: Involves the use of high energy waves to kill cancer cells, limit toxicity and improve results.
  • Chemotherapy: Involves the use of powerful medicines to kill cancer cells.
  • Targeted Therapy: Targets cancer specific genes, proteins or the tissue environment that contribute to cancer growth and survival.
  • Immunotherapy: Involves the use of medicines that prompt the body's immune system or natural defences to destroy cancer.

What Are The Precautions One Must Take To Avoid Head and Neck Cancer?

  • Avoid the use of tobacco,gutka and drugs etc.
  • Avoid excessive smoking
  • Avoid heavy consumption of alcohol
  • Use sunscreen and lip balm with an adequate sun protection factor (SPF) on a regular basis
  • Get HPV Vaccine as a protection against HPV infection and practise safe sex
  • Avoid excessive exposure to  sun
  • Wear a protective face mask when getting exposed to toxic fumes and dust for a longer duration
  • Maintain proper care of dentures; poorly fitted dentures can trap tobacco and other cancer-causing substances
  • Drink plenty of water

Are There Any Risk Factors Involved?

Some of the major factors that lead to Head and Neck Cancer are:

  • Tobacco: Chewing tobacco is the single largest risk factor associated with Head and Neck Cancer
  • Smoking: Excessive smoking can increase the risk of such type of cancer
  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol is the second largest risk factor for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus
  • Gender: Males are twice more probable of developing Head and Neck Cancer as compared to females
  • Age:  People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop Head and Neck Cancer
  • Certain Illnesses: Certain kind of illness such as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and two inherited genetic syndromes — Fanconi anaemia and dyskeratosiscongenita are linked to Head and Neck Cancer
  • Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to  sun may increase the risk of Oral and Lip Cancer
  • Radiation Therapy: High doses of Radiation Therapy, particularly in the head and neck, tend to increase the risk of developing Head and Neck Cancer
  • Malnutrition: Deficiencies of vitamins and nutrients may raise a patient’s risk of developing the disease
  • Vaping: Vaping e-cigarettes also contributes to this type of cancer

Find Complete Relief from BLK Experts

If you think you are facing similar conditions, or have suffered from them in the past, please contact the BLK Hospital team to schedule an appointment at : +91-11-30403040

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