What is head and neck cancer?


Cancer of the head and neck includes those tumours affecting the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat, larynx, cervical nodes, and thyroid gland.

For this reason we offer a complete treatment by a multidisciplinary team achieving the treatment of tumor and causing the minimum functional and aesthetic sequelae.

The head and neck tumours are a disease that originates in the lining cells of this area; these tumours can be classified as benign or malignant or intermediate.

The most common malignant tumors on this area are squamous cell carcinomas which are currently the sixth most prevalent cancer, being the fourth highest incidence in men. These are mainly caused by a small number of risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, or some viruses like human papillomavirus, radiation or occupational exposure to certain agents such as wood dust.

General symptoms of head and neck cancer
  • Lump in the neck or face that does not decreases size within a few days.
  • Ferida o tumoració a la boca que no millora en pocs dies.
  • Dificultat per empassar els aliments.
  • Dolor en empassar els aliments.
  • Dolor referit a cau d’orella en empassar els aliments.
  • Canvi persistent en la veu.
  • Treure líquid tacat amb sang pel nas o la boca.

The treatment of benign or intermediate tumors of the area is mainly focused on surgery although some cases may also benefit from a non sugically treatment.

Treatment of malignant cancer and head and neck is currently based on performing surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination. It’s important to plan a personalized treatment for each patient with the aim, firstly, to offer the highest possible cure rate, and secondly, the lowest incidence of sequelae.

That’s why is important to have medical oncology and radiotherapy departments collaboration.

The surgical treatment must be differentiated of the primary tumor and the lymph nodes that are at risk for cancer spread.

At the primary tumor we are able to offer all kinds of open surgery, as well as the latest techniques in minimally invasive surgery (such as treatment through the mouth by CO2 laser, endoscopy) and all kinds of reconstructive technique in the area either by pedicled flaps or by microsurgical reconstruction techniques.

At the lymph nodes treatment we can perform neck dissection when is indicated, as well as the latest techniques in detecting sentinel node. Tis techniques consist to detect early drainage stations to try to avoid complete neck dissection.

Tumors treated in our department
  • Lip and mouth.
  • Pharynx and throat.
  • Larynx.
  • Salivary glands.
  • Nose and sinuses.
  • Skin head and neck.
  • Thyroid gland.
  • Cervical Lymph no known primary.
  • Ear and temporal bone.

Outstanding surgical resources