Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
You or someone you care about may have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer.
This video will help you understand how it can be managed.
The most common type of head and neck cancer, called squamous cell carcinoma, is a disease where cancer cells form inside the nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, voicebox, or salivary glands.
Treatment for head and neck cancer may remove or destroy the cancer.
But treatment may affect your ability to speak, eat, or swallow, depending on the location of the cancer.
You may need rehabilitation or reconstructive surgery to preserve or restore function so you can return to activities as soon as possible after treatment.
For example, if you have problems speaking or swallowing, a speech-language pathologist can help you with swallowing exercises or speech therapy.
After treatment, it's very important to have a follow-up care plan
This includes going to follow-up appointments.
Your doctor will want to check for any signs of the cancer returning, and check for health problems that may have resulted from treatment.
Your doctor may order lab tests or imaging tests, like MRIs or CT scans, to check for cancer.
If you are on any medications, continue to take them as prescribed by your doctor.
Take note of any side effects and tell your doctor.
If you had surgery or other treatments, follow any instructions you were given.
There are lifestyle changes that can improve your health and help you feel better.
It's important to quit smoking. This lowers the risk for cancer returning or spreading.
Limiting how much alcohol you drink may reduce your risk of cancer.
Eat a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This may also reduce your risk of certain cancers.
Become physically active. Activities like walking, riding a bicycle, or swimming can help you feel better and less tired.
Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Knowing you have cancer can be overwhelming. You may have worries about your condition and how it affects your family, treatments and hospital stays, medical bills, and your job. There are ways to help you cope with this.
Remember that your doctor and healthcare team are there to answer any questions you have.
The following sources of support can help you cope with your concerns:
and support groups
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment plan, medications, or lifestyle changes to help you manage head and neck cancer.