Home » Tobacco use is one of the primary causes of Head & Neck cancer

Tobacco use is one of the primary causes of Head & Neck cancer

by Huirem Naresh
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By Dr. Minish Jain

Head & Neck cancer cases are likely to double by the year 2030. India accounts for 60% of world’s head & neck cancer cases. India is also the third largest tobacco user across the world. As per the WHO, tobacco kills more than 10 lakh people in the country, each year.
Currently, there are over 26.6 crore tobacco users in India and a substantial number of passive smokers. All forms of tobacco including cigarettes, cigars, hookah, gutkha and khaini are common agents for causing oral cancer.
Tobacco use impacts almost every major organ and system in the body causing untimely death. More than 4,000 different types of chemicals have been found in tobacco and tobacco smoke. Over 60 of these chemicals have been classified as cancer causing agents by International Agency on Research in Cancer.
Organs like the mouth, throat, larynx are affected by smoking tobacco. Cancer develops where there is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells of the body.
Harmful chemicals of tobacco cause these cells to grow uncontrollably and may lead to cancer. Other risk factors for head & neck cancer are HPV infections, poor oral hygiene, weak immune system, vitamin A and B deficiencies.
Symptoms of head & neck cancer include blood in phlegm, lump in the neck, skin changes, change in voice, difficulty in swallowing and a sore that does not heal.
The different types of head & neck cancer are cancer of the pharynx, larynx, nasal and paranasal sinus, oral cavity and salivary glands.
Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy targeted therapy or immunotherapy. In early stages, surgery is the first treatment choice. In advanced stages, chemo-radiation or targeted therapy plus radiation may be considered.
The article is written by Dr. Minish Jain, Director of Medical Oncology at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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