April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month
April is head and neck cancer awareness month and the goal of this initiative is to encourage adults who are at high risk for oral, head and neck cancer to take advantage of the nationwide free screenings.
As Head and Neck Cancer patients, care-givers, and survivors, we have much to offer from first-hand experience.
Our members share their stories
Our members have shared their wisdom through their own journeys of Head and Neck Cancer. We have listened to medical professionals and participated in medical and therapeutic treatments. We have gone home after surgery/chemo/radiation and dealt with life as it came at us. And we learned as we experienced each day of life with HNC.
Read helpful information
We encourage you to browse our website for helpful information:
- links and resources
- read about the mission of the researchers at the USC Keck School of Medicine,
- and find find recipes for delicious smoothies and shakes.
Join our support group
All are welcome! On the first Saturday morning of every month, HNC patients and survivors gather, chat, share personal stories/experiences and gather helpful information from others. They are of different ages, gender and race, and accompanied by family, caregivers, and/or friends. But they all have one thing in common – they or a family member have been diagnosed with Head & Neck Cancer (HNC). They are here to participate in the Head & Neck Patient Support Group at USC, to encourage and to be encouraged.
Are you a caregiver?
We know it can be difficult at times. Have you ever wanted to ask another caregiver a question about how they cope with the tasks, worries, and routines of caring for a loved one with head and neck cancer? Would you like a chance to share information and learn from others who are in your shoes? A special support group has been formed to provide such a forum.
Read more and join support group for caregivers, Coffee with the Caregivers.
About head and neck cancer
What is head and neck cancer?
Depending on where the cancer starts, it can have many names, but all these cancers start when cells in part of the head or neck grow out of control and crowd out normal cells and your body doesn’t work how it should. These cells can spread to other parts of the body and continue to grow. This is called metastasis and to doctors will look the same as ones from the head or neck where it started.
Cancer is always named for the place where it starts. So when head or neck cancer spreads to the lung (or any other place), it’s still called head or neck cancer. It’s not called lung cancer unless it starts from cells in the lung.
What are the most common head and neck cancers?
The most common type of cancer in the head and neck area is called carcinoma. These cancers start in the cells that line all parts of the nose, mouth, and throat.
- Oral cavity cancer – starts in the mouth
- Oropharyngeal cancer – starts in back of the mouth or the throat
- Nasal cavity cancer – starts in the opening behind the nose, a space that runs along the top of the roof of the mouth and then turns downward to join the back of the mouth and the throat
- Paranasal sinus cancer – starts in the openings around or near the nose called sinuses
- Nasopharyngeal cancer – starts in the upper part of the throat behind the nose
- Laryngeal cancer – starts in the voice box
- Hypopharyngeal cancer – starts in the lower part of the throat beside and behind the voice box