ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) cancer including mouth is also known as head and neck cancers. They are a group of cancers that affect the soft tissue organs around the head and neck area.
In Malaysia, nasopharyngeal cancer is the fourth most common cancer and nearly three Malaysians are diagnosed with such disease each day. This cancer mainly affects Chinese men and more than two thirds are diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 cancer.
Nose, mouth and throat cancers are more common among men due to male smokers outnumber female smokers and oral human papillomavirus (HPV) is more frequent in male. Most of the affected people are aged between 50 to 70 years old. However, the cancers caused by HPV, which are primarily oropharyngeal cancers, occur more often in younger people. Nose, mouth and throat cancers are grouped as together because of certain similarities which, are the type of cancer and the causes. More than 90% of nose, mouth and throat cancer are squamous cell carcinomas where the cancer develop in the squamous cells that line the inside of the mouth, nose or throat. Most people who had such cancer use tobacco, consumed alcohol or both.
Some cancers inside the mouth do not cause symptoms at first but can be seen or felt by a doctor or dentist during a routine mouth examination. If a person has symptoms, the doctor will use a flexible viewing tube, called an endoscope, to examine the deeper regions in the mouth, nose, and throat. If there is any abnormalities, the diagnosis is made by examining a sample of tissue, called a biopsy, from the suspected cancer. Doctors will insert a needle into the growth to get a small amount of tissue or cut out a small piece using a scalpel.
The most common sites of nose, mouth and throat cancers are:
- The voice box (larynx)
- Inside the mouth (including tongue, floor of the mouth, and the hard part of the roof of the mouth)
- The middle part of the throat (also called oropharynx, which includes the back of the wall of mouth, the base of the tongue, the tonsils and the soft part of the roof of the mouth)
The less common sites of nose, mouth and throat cancers are:
- The hollow spaces located in the bones around the nose (paranasal sinuses)
- The nasal cavity and nasal passages
- The upper throat (nasopharynx)
- The lower part of throat (hypopharynx)
- The salivary glands
Symptoms are vary, depend on where the cancer is located. Common symptoms of nose, mouth and throat includes hoarseness, lump in the neck, painful open sore or a growth in the mouth and difficult in swallowing result in weight loss. Sometimes red or white patches (erythroplakia or leukoplakia) in the mouth may be the early signs.
In conjunction with Beacon Hospital’s Nose, Mouth and Throat (ENT) Cancer Community Awareness programme, Beacon Hospital provides a FREE SCREENING for nose, mouth and throat cancer including the nasal cavity (nose passage from nostrils), paranasal sinuses, nasopharynx (back of the nose), tonsils, tongue, lining of the mouth and throat, vocal chords (voice box), lips thyroid and salivary glands. This screening includes the following:
- Specialist consultation
- Physical examination
- Fibre-optic Nasopharyngoscopy
In order to be qualify for the free screening, one has to meet the following criteria:
- Age above 21 years old
- No previous history of cancer in the same region
- Has not seen by any Beacon ENT in the last two years
- Limited to first 200 patients ONLY
- Not for walk in, must make prior appointment
- Self-paying patients only. No insurance / GL
- Eligible for local and overseas patients
Likewise, prevention is better than cure. Do not let cancer be your greatest fear of living with. Call us today 012 322 9392 / 018 223 3365 for more information and appointment bookings.Back To Menu List