Tag Archive for: human papillomavirus

Understanding the Types of Head and Neck Cancer

Understanding the Types of Head and Neck Cancer from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Which cancers are considered “head and neck cancer”? Expert Dr. Ari Rosenberg shares an overview of the types of head and neck cancer and their location in the body.

Dr. Ari Rosenberg is a medical oncologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Rosenberg.

See More From The Pro-Active Head and Neck Cancer Patient Toolkit

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Expert Advice for Newly Diagnosed Head and Neck Cancer Patients

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Transcript:

Katherine:

Well, let’s start by understanding what head and neck cancer is. Is it a group of cancers? 

Dr. Rosenberg:

Yeah, that’s a great question. So, head and neck cancer is really any type of cancer that develops from the head and neck area. Generally arising from sometimes the mouth, the throat, the voice box are some of the more common areas, but even the sinuses or the nasal cavities are some other areas where head and neck cancer can arise.  

The majority of head and neck cancers are actually called squamous cell carcinoma. About 95 percent are squamous cell carcinomas, and they tend to arrive from the mucosal lining of some of these different parts of the head and neck area.  

However, the other 5 percent are other types of head and neck cancers, such as salivary gland cancers, or other rare types of cancers that can also arise in the head and neck.  

And within head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, there’s really two different types that we think about – in 2023 at least. One is HPV-associated squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, which is associated with a virus called HPV, or human papillomavirus. And, of course, we also see HPV-negative, or non-HPV-related cancers, which are the squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck that can be associated, for example, with smoking or alcohol as the major cause of effect. 

November 2021 Notable News

Cancer research has come a long way in the last half century. Each month there is an amazing amount of new knowledge. There’s new information this month about childhood cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and a couple of vaccines. The research and advances we learn about each month are due in large part to the programs and systems that resulted from the National Cancer Act of 1971.

National Cancer Act of 1971

Fifty years ago, a few days before Christmas, President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act of 1971, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is commemorating the anniversary at cancer.gov. The act established networks of cancer centers, clinical trials, data collection systems, and advanced research. As an amendment to the Public Health Service Act of 1944, by signing the act, Nixon declared a war on cancer. The bill expanded the authority of the director of the NCI and made possible many of the present-day advances in cancer research. Learn more about the National Cancer Act of 1971 and the impact it has had over the past 50 years here.

HPV Vaccine

One of the accomplishments noted by the NCI is the HPV vaccine. The vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV) is reducing the number of cervical cancer cases by almost 90 percent, says bbc.com. Almost all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV, and cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. More than 100 countries are using the vaccine to help in the World Health Organization’s goal to eliminate cervical cancer. With such positive results in the United Kingdom, the hope is that the vaccine will have an even bigger impact in lower income countries. Read more here.

Covid-19 Vaccines

Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective for most cancer patients, reports usnews.com. In a study that included more than 1,000 vaccinated cancer patients, researchers found that the vaccines were effective in protecting cancer patients from severe Covid-19. Patients who had been treated with chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, or corticosteroids had a weaker immune response, but still benefited from the vaccine’s protection. Cancer patients had similar side effects as healthy vaccine recipients. Get more information here.

Pancreatic Cancer Detection

Researchers have identified two additional symptoms of pancreatic cancer that could help with earlier detection of the disease, reports webmd.com. The newly identified symptoms are feeling thirsty and having dark urine, and they are associated with the most common type of pancreatic cancer. Other symptoms include problems swallowing, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, abdominal swelling, tiredness, constipation, back pain, itching, loss of appetite, change in bowel habits, indigestion, abdominal pain, abdominal mass, nausea, flatulence, heartburn, and fever. Patients can have symptoms for up to a year before diagnosis. Get more information here.

Gut Microbiome and Prostate Cancer

A new study shows that there might be a link between the gut microbiome and deadly prostate cancer, reports medicalnewstoday.com. Researchers analyzed different metabolites in the blood serum of study participants and found a connection between aggressive prostate cancer and three of the metabolites. The metabolites, phenylacetylglutamine, choline, and betaine, are either produced by the gut or found in some foods. The metabolites are mostly found in meat and animal products, but also in beans, nuts, and diet sodas with aspartame. Men with high levels of choline or betaine were two times more likely to die of prostate cancer, and men with high levels of phenylacetylglutamine were 2.5 times more likely to die of prostate cancer. Learn more about the study here.

Childhood Cancer Survivors

Childhood cancer survivors tend to have higher risk of lifelong health problems, reports medicalxpress.com. A new study shows that the type of cancer and how the cancer was treated can affect the type of health issues survivors will have later in life. Researchers found that people who were treated with chemotherapy and radiation were most likely to experience later health problems. The lowest risk was for people who were treated only with surgery. Researchers say the long-term health effects should be considered when discussing treatment options for young people with cancer. Learn more about the study and watch an animated video that explains the study in an easy-to-understand manner here.

Here’s hoping that we will have more preventive vaccines and life-saving measures before the passing of the next 50 years.