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Cancer of the neck – its varieties

Tumors of the head and neck can have various origins, since the data of the anatomical region are composed of derivatives of the three embryonic leaves. The danger of these cancer processes is not only to cancer intoxication, but also the closeness with the brain. It is therefore very important to diagnose cancer of the neck and other tumors that can develop here. Correct and timely diagnosis is a half of success!

Causes of development of tumors of this region

The main carcinogenic factors that lead to activation of the cancer process in the neck and head, should be given to those that lead to the development of cancer of the upper respiratory tract and upper gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, the causal factors are:

  • Smoking and passive inhalation of tobacco;
  • alcohol, especially in combination with Smoking;
  • family history;
  • viral infection;
  • occupational hazards;
  • radiation exposure;
  • an improper diet.

rak shei Consider the mechanism of influence of each of these factors separately. Carcinogenicity of tobacco is due to the presence of resins. They lead to the development of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. It is interesting to note that seen a definite pattern in the process is cancer occurs on the other side of language, where most smoker holds a cigarette.

The influence of alcohol in cases, when developing cancer of the head and neck has been proven in 75% of cases. Part of them was related to the synergic effect of alcohol and tobacco. That is why there is active propaganda struggle with these addictions.

Genetic predisposition to development of cancer of the process is determined by the level of activity of certain enzymes. For example, if the activity of hydrocarbonoxidize above, squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx develops more frequently than in the General population. Also identify a characteristic mutagenicities portions of chromosomes.

As for the food, several serious clinical studies have demonstrated the link between dietary intake and the likelihood of developing cancer of the head and neck. It has been shown that the carotene and retinol have a cancer protector action, that is, protect against abnormal cell proliferation.

Classification of tumors of the head and neck

The complexity classification of tumors of the head and neck due to the fact that this anatomical region is formed by the three embryonic sheets of ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Therefore, tumors may have a different origin and structure.

Decided to allocate the tumors of two types:

  • those that are unique to this localization (e.g., tumors of the olfactory nerve, auditory canal, etc.);
  • tumors that do not have specific localization (sarcoma, cancer, etc.).

Depending on the level of differentiation and, consequently, the degree of malignancy of cancer disease are divided into three groups:

  • benign;
  • intermediate (locally destruirujushchego);
  • malignant.

The complexity of creating a uniform classification has led to the fact that the division was based on the topographic characteristic, that is, with regard to a particular organ. In addition you must consider the level of differentiation of the tumor, as it affects the prognosis of the disease.


Sarcomas are not very common oncologic lesions of the head and neck. Most often have to deal with osteogenic sarcomas. However, in the overall structure of sarcomas of maxillofacial sarcomas occur less than 10% of cases.

The prognosis of this variety of malignant bone lesions better than if it were sarcoma of the long bones. So, the five-year survival rate for sarcomas of the head and neck isapproximately 35-40%.


Neuroblastoma, which develops from the olfactory nerves, is approximately 3% of tumors of the nose. They relate to the specific tumors of a given anatomical region. Risk of tumor is that it often recurs, even though the efficacy of the treatment.

Neuroblastoma subject to comprehensive treatment, which includes:

  • surgical treatment (wide excision, which complement craniofacial resection);
  • radiation therapy when large amounts of tumor;
  • chemotherapy also is indicated for the presence of tumors of considerable size.


Cancer among the other histological variants of tumors of the head and neck are the most common. The source of these tumors is the epithelial tissue in this region. When compared by gender, men are at risk, since the incidence they have this disease is three times higher than in women. The most vulnerable age is 50-60 years.

Structure malignant epithelial tumors are distributed as follows:

  • cancerous lesion of the oral cavity – 40%;
  • cancerous lesion of the larynx – 25%;
  • cancerous lesion of the oropharynx – 15%;
  • cancerous lesion of the salivary glands – 10%.

rak sheiThese pathological processes in the early stages do not have specific clinical manifestations. Therefore, it is important to use additional methods of research to the earliest establishment of the exact diagnosis. However, the "gold" standard of diagnosis is considered to be a histological examination. Material for research is taken in suspicious areas. With the progression of the disease occurs the lymph nodes, which also need to be subjected to histological examination. However, in some cases, it may be a primary cancer of the lymph nodes in the neck. The differential diagnosis between them is also based on biopsy study.

Clinical signs that should alert the physician to the exclusion of the cancerous process, include:

  • swallowing, including liquids;
  • change tone of voice and his osiplosti;
  • pain head and neck area;
  • the appearance of puffiness on the neck and under the eyes;
  • a certain proportion of cancer patients revealed significantly enlarged lymph nodes and primary lesion remains "behind the scenes".

All these symptoms always require further assessment to exclude cancer. And if the suspicions are confirmed, shown treatment.

Treatment of cancer of the head and neck accompanied by certain features. They are as follows:

1. Before starting treatment be sure to fully inspect all the teeth. This would prevent any loss of teeth during radiation load;

2. Possible loss of function of chewing and swallowing, so we need to address the future of human existence. Often death can result from severe malnutrition;

3. Treatment of certain cancer processes should begin only after a thorough examination by a dentist, an otolaryngologist and an oncologist. In this case, produces a complex approach to solving the problem.

For the treatment of tumors of the head and neck are used the following types:

  • operative treatment, which should be radical (is deleted not only the primary focus, but metastatic lymph nodes);
  • irradiation (the main side effects of this treatment are dry mouth, change of taste, the development of atrophic glossitis, etc.);
  • chemotherapy (it is regarded as a measure of desperation, as is used only in the casewhen there is no possibility of a radical removal of the tumor). Most often used cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil.

In conclusion, it should be emphasized that tumors of the head and neck are a very heterogeneous group of diseases. Therefore, to determine a plan for further management of the patient it is necessary to consider which body became the primary focus of pathological process. In parallel, assessment of the degree of differentiation of tumor cells, as this affects future treatment plan of the patient. For best results, you need to try to identify the disease at an early stage. Because the symptoms of cancer of the head and neck malespecific, it is of great importance in this process is given to the application of additional methods of research. They allow to identify the disease at an early stage when treatment is very effective.