PET/CT & Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer is the generic term given to cancers that begin in the head and neck region of a person’s body. Head and neck cancers include cancers that begin in the:

  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Oral cavity (mouth)
  • The sinuses (spaces around the nose,)
  • The nasal cavity (the passage behind the nose)
  • The larynx (voice box)
  • The salivary glands (glands that make saliva)

There are many types of head and neck cancer and these include the following:

  • Cancer of the hypopharynx

Head and neck cancer where the cancer cells are found in bottom part of the throat (the hypopharynx)

  • Cancer of the nasopharynx

Head and neck cancer where the cancer cells are found in upper part of the throat (the nasopharynx)

  • Cancer of the oropharynx

Head and neck cancer where the cancer cells are found in the middle part of the throat (the oropharynx)

  • Cancer of the paranasal sinus and nasal cavity.

Head and neck cancer where the cancer cells are found in the tissues in the small hollow spaces around the nose (the paranasal sinus and nasal cavity).

  • Parathyroid cancer

Head and neck cancer where the cancer cells are found in the in the parathyroid gland. This gland is at the base of the neck, near the thyroid gland

· Cancer of the salivary gland

Head and neck cancer where the cancer cells are found in the salivary glands

  • Metastatic squamous neck cancer with occult primary.

In this type of head and neck cancer, squamous cell cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the neck.



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