- India accounts for 60% of head and neck cancer cases in the world
- Tobacco consumption is the biggest reason responsible
- Head and neck cancers originate near your throat, neck and mouth
Thanks to increased consumption of tobacco in India, the country accounts for 60% of head and neck cancer cases in the world. Cancer of the mouth, nose and throat have become extremely common in India and this number is expected to double by the year 2030, say health experts. 80000 of the total number of cases are of oral cancer and tobacco is the biggest reason to blame. In a clinical study, experts concluded that a molecule named Nimotuzumab along with chemo and radiotherapy can be very helpful for treating head and neck cancers. This molecule was created by the Bengaluru-based Biocon, a biotech major.
To check for its efficiency, researchers conducted a clinical study 536 patients with advanced head and neck cancer aged 18 to 80 years. It was found that patients who were given Nimotuzumab along with chemotherapy drug survived three times more than patients who only received only chemo or radiotherapy. This reduced the risk of disease progression by 26%.
This study proved that introduction to this molecule can improve the current standards of care provided to head and neck cancer patients. It could improve treatment standards on the basis of factors like progression-free and disease-free survival. No severe side effects were noticed as such, however, mild mouth inflammation was seen which a common effect is after cancer treatments. Studies are now being conducted worldwide to check for the efficiency of this molecule for lung, pancreatic and cervical cancers.
What are the types of head and neck cancer?
Head and neck cancers originate near your throat, neck, voice box, mouth and sinuses. It usually begins in the cells which line these parts of your body. Basically, there are 5 types of neck and head cancers, each named after the part of the body which they affect. Symptoms for each of these are completely different. Head and neck cancers can originate in the following body parts:
2. Nasal and paranasal sinuses
3. Oral cavities
5. Salivary glands
What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?
Each type of cancer has a different set of symptoms. Some symptoms, however, are common in all cases.
1. Sores in the mouth which do not hurt
2. Blood in phlegm
3. Lump in the neck
4. Skin changes
What are the causes and risk factors of head and neck cancer?
The biggest reason responsible for head and neck cancers are tobacco intake. This includes chewing and smoking of tobacco. First hand and second hand smoking have the same impact on your risk of head and neck cancers. Alcohol intake is also responsible for the same. Besides these, the following could also increase your risk of head and neck cancer:
2. Smoking pot
4. Being over 40 years of age
5. Being a man
6. Poor oral hygiene
7. Weak immune system
8. Vitamin A and B deficiency
With inputs from IANS
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