Head and neck cancers are becoming increasingly common

By Mayo Clinic staff

There are many causes of head and neck cancers, and treatment is complicated. One of the fastest growing demographics of cancer in the U.S. is younger people with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer, says Daniel Ma, M.D., a Mayo Clinic radiation oncologist.

"This is a treatable disease," says Dr. Ma. "It's a disease that's very responsive to radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. And it's one of those diseases, because the patients are young, that there's a good cure rate."

Dr. Ma says treatment for head and neck cancers requires medical coordination. "It's where tight collaboration between an ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon medical oncologist who gives chemotherapy, and a radiation oncologist, like myself, who gives radiation or X-ray treatments, is crucial for the success of the treatment."

In this "Mayo Clinic Q&A" podcast video, Dr. Ma describes the symptoms of head and neck cancer and getting a diagnosis. He also explains advances in treatment like newer radiation techniques, including proton therapy, and more minimally invasive surgical techniques:

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A version of this article was originally published on the Mayo Clinic News Network.