Cancers of the mouth and throat, as well as some rarer cancers, fall under head and neck cancers. Cancer of the sinuses, the salivary glands or the nose or middle ear are some of these cancers. The lip, the front two-thirds of the tongue, or any area in the mouth are the areas where mouth cancer can develop. There are different areas where throat cancer can develop. The pharynx and the larynx (voicebox) comprise the area that throat cancer covers. The nasopharynx, the oropharynx and the hypopharynx are the three main divisions of the pharynx. In front of the hypopharynx, there is the larynx. The treatments of cancers of the thyroid, oesophagus (gullet) or windpipe (trachea) are different. The cells that line the mouth, nose and throat are the originating place of most head and neck cancers, also called squamous cell cancers.


There may be a lump in the throat if there are tumours in the larynx or pharynx. The symptoms of cancer in your mouth are swelling of the jaw and mouth sores. According to the oncology doctors in Kolkata, the following are some other symptoms of head and cancer tumours.

  • A persistent sore throat
  • Swallowing problem
  • Hoarseness in the voice
  • Frequent coughing
  • Pain in the ear
  • Headache
  • Bad breath
  • Congestion in the nose
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Trouble in breathing


The two important risk factors for head and neck cancers are alcohol and tobacco use. This also includes smokeless tobacco, also sometimes referred to as chewing tobacco. This is particularly true in the case of cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx. The use of tobacco and alcohol causes at least 75% of head and neck cancers. For some other types of head and neck cancers, infection with cancer-causing variants of human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible. Paan, preserved or salted foods, oral health and occupational exposure are some other risk factors for them.


The first step in developing a treatment plan for head and neck cancers is a thorough and accurate cancer diagnosis. The best oncologist in Kolkata will suggest you go for different tests to properly diagnose head and neck cancers. Indirect pharyngoscopy and laryngoscopy, panendoscopy, endoscopy, biopsy and X-rays are some diagnostic tests. The imaging tests include CT scan, MRI and PET scan.


There are various treatment options for head and neck cancers. These include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. The body’s immune system get help in identifying and killing tumour cells from drugs called checkpoint inhibitors in immunotherapy. The aim of targeted therapy is to block the growth and spread of cancer by attacking specific proteins and preventing cancer cells from dividing or directly destroying them with the help of drugs. For patients whose cancer has metastasized to the bones or elsewhere in the body, chemotherapy is very effective. There is less damage to healthy tissue and organs due to the technology used in this treatment, which delivers high doses of radiation to tumour cells in the head and neck. An important treatment option for head and neck cancers is surgery.