May 6, 2021


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Obstacles to care: Head and neck cancer

Medically evaluated by Dr. Jennifer Granis.

Head and neck cancer is an all-encompassing term Cancer Lip, mouth, vocal cords, throat and salivary glands. These cancers have a five-year survival rate when they are diagnosed early 70% to 90% With treatment. Unfortunately, most cases of head and neck cancer are not diagnosed until they are reversible, making treatment very effective.

If head and neck cancer treatment works well in the first place, why don’t more people get tested before cancer occurs? What keeps people from getting to care?

Uncertainty about the type of head and neck cancer, symptoms

There are many types of tumors on the head and neck Dr. Eleni Retig, Head and Neck Doctor at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Dana-Fiber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. It is the most common type of head and neck cancer Squamous cell carcinoma, She talks about where cancer occurs in the cells that make up the middle and outer layers of the skin.

Because head and neck cancer involves many types of cancer. Symptoms These cancers are many and varied. And some of the most common ones, such as chronic sore throats or screaming, can be misinterpreted as something else (like the flu).

Head and neck cancer and HPV.

Risk factors It includes tobacco use, alcohol consumption and HIV infection for head and neck cancer. Infected with human papillomavirus, HIV infection is responsible for this 70% Head and neck cancer affecting the oropharynx – including the back of the throat, tongue and tonsils.

“If you have cancer of the oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, it is important to know that your tumor is caused by HPV,” he said.

Head and neck cancer caused by HPV is on the rise. Although the experts are not sure why A concept Many people are involved in oral sex, which can spread the HIV virus.

Isolation is caused by HPV.

HIV affects all people who are sexually active at some point in their lives. In Care Of 85% women and 91% men At the age of 45, he has at least one type of HPV. But although HPV infection is very common, there is a lot Isolation Surrounded him.

Because sex is the main means of transmitting HIV. Negative attitudes It prevents people from presenting it to friends or health care providers. If a person is experiencing symptoms of head and neck cancer but is unaware of their relationship with HIV or does not want to bring their HPV status to the healthcare provider Take longer To have a cancer test.

Even after learning that they have brain and neck cancer, some people are reluctant to talk about HPV. They can feel it It’s a shame Be ashamed to ask questions about the role of HIV cancer.

HPV vaccine hesitation and misinformation

HIV, including the types of viruses that cause oropharyngeal cancers. There is a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the HPV vaccine for everyone up to 26 years of age and some adults up to 45 years of age who have not been vaccinated and are at risk for new HPV infections.

Despite CDC recommendations, some parents are reluctant to vaccinate their teenage children against HIV. A 2019 Study Although additional providers recommend the vaccine to their adolescent patients, parental skepticism about the HIV vaccine, published in Pediatrics magazine, has increased from 50.4% in 2012 to 64%.

Public health officials are working Strengthen HPV vaccine efforts Local, state, and national levels to prevent HIV-related cancers.

Cancer differences affect many Americans

Health differences and imbalances can be another barrier to accessing brain and neck cancer care. People living in affected districts Persistent poverty They are more likely to die from cancer than in other counties, and low incomes are associated with this Poor survival Head and neck cancer rates.

Rural areasCancer deaths are often higher than in urban and suburban areas with high levels of poverty and access to health care. one Study Patients in rural areas, especially those with head and neck cancer, are less likely to be diagnosed at a young age than those in urban areas.

Race and ethnicity Differences They also have a big impact on cancer care, such as sexual orientation. In one study, black patients with oropharyngeal cancer were significantly higher in one analysis Worse overall survival rate Compared to patients of other races. And lesbian, gay and lesbian youth It could be more Alcohol and smoking increase the risk of both head and neck cancers more than their peers.

Seeking special support

With many types of head and neck cancer, it is difficult to know where to go for newly diagnosed patients. Rhett recommends seeking medical treatment for head and neck oncology. Other specialists you can see include a speech pathologist, a dietitian, and a physical therapist.

The importance of regular health care

Concerns about Kovid-19 It has led to the creation of some people Skip or delay medical care And Dental care, Causes severe symptoms or missed tests. With regard to head and neck cancer, where Preliminary examination The key to improving survival is to skip or get an annual workout HPV vaccine It could be the worst.

The main line? Do not let your fears be seen.

This wealth was created with the support of Mercury.