27th July is World Head & Neck Cancer Day. To raise Head and Neck Cancer Awareness, the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) is organising a public forum on 23 Jul 22 on “Understanding Oral and Thyroid Cancers”. Interested members of the public can learn more about the event and sign up here.
Did you know that thyroid cancer is one of the top 10 cancers affecting women in Singapore. During the period 2015-2019, thyroid cancer accounted for nearly 4 out of every 100 cases of cancer diagnosed in females. If you are keen to arm yourself with a better head and neck cancer awareness, this forum may be useful. A panel of doctors will discuss the signs, symptoms, and treatments of oral and thyroid cancers.
Head and Neck Cancer Awareness – A Brief Primer on Oral and Thyroid Cancers
What is Oral Cancer?
NUH explains that oral (or mouth) cancer, is “a deadly disease of the face, mouth and jaws”. It is a mucosal disease of the soft tissues of the mouth. This includes parts such as the tongue, the cheek, gums, lips, and salivary glands. Swelling, or white or red patches in the mouth, or mouth ulcers may be indicative of oral / mouth cancer. Oral cancer are more common in middle-aged and elderly males.
Signs of oral cancer should be examined by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who may perform a biopsy of the lesions to ascertain the patient’s condition. The diagnosis and management of oral cancer is done by a multidisciplinary team involving an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, maxillofacial prosthodontist and restorative dentist, speech and swallowing therapist and dietitian.
What is Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer is a cancer of the thyroid gland whereby there is an abnormal tissue growth. The thyroid is a gland located in the neck, that produces hormones that controls vital metabolic processes in our body. Abnormal growths will need to be investigated to ascertain if they are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer include:
- Experiencing constipation or diarrhoea
- Difficulty swallowing. In severe cases, difficulty in breathing may be experienced
- Changes in and / or hoarseness of the voice
- A lump in the neck which moves when swallowing
Typical treatments for Thyroid cancer include surgery and radioiodine treatment.
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.