In the head and neck area, an ENT specialist is trained to treat infectious diseases, tumors (both benign and malignant/cancerous), facial trauma, and deformities of the face. They perform both cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery.
An ENT specialist may work with a team of doctors in other medical and surgical specialties. Common ground is shared with neurosurgery in treating skull base disorders; plastic surgery in correcting cosmetic and traumatic deformities; ophthalmology in treating structural abnormalities near the eye; oral surgery in treating jaw and dental trauma; allergy in managing sinus disease; dermatology in caring for skin cancers; oncology in managing head and neck cancers; and pediatrics and family practice in caring for common infectious, congenital, traumatic, and malignant (cancerous) diseases and disorders in the pediatric and general population.
Early detection is critical to prevent fatal outcomes.
Cancers of the head and neck can be particularly aggressive.
Cancers that are known as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat).
These squamous cell cancers are often referred to as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck.
Head and neck cancers can also begin in the salivary glands, but salivary gland cancers are relatively uncommon. Salivary glands contain many different types of cells that can become cancerous, so there are many different types of salivary gland cancer.
Cancers of the head and neck are further categorized by the area of the head or neck in which they begin : oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity.
Alcohol and tobacco use are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers, especially cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx. People who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk of developing these cancers than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone.
Infection with cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV), is a risk factor for some types of head and neck cancers, particularly oropharyngeal cancers that involve the tonsils or the base of the tongue.
The symptoms of head and neck cancers may include a lump or a sore that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty in swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice.
These symptoms may also be caused by other, less serious conditions. It is important to check with a doctor or dentist about any of these symptoms. (www.cancer.gov)
Salivary glands (parotid, submandibular and sublingual glands) produce saliva, which is responsible for moistening the food we eat and also aids in the digestion process.
Unfortunately, there are several disorders that may impede the salivary glands from functioning properly and some that may even affect one's overall health. Both benign (non-cancerous) and cancerous salivary gland tumors may develop anywhere in the salivary glands, but the majority of them begin in the parotid glands.
New surgical techniques are routinely performed as minimal invasive approaches. The « aesthetic parotidectomy » technique avoids any visible scar, nor facial contour change.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
Thyroid surgery is advised for patients who have a variety of thyroid conditions, including both cancerous and benign (non-cancerous) thyroid nodules, large thyroid glands (goiters), and overactive thyroid glands. (www.thyroid.org)