The head and neck region contains some of the most complex anatomy in the human body. The key organs that are involved in most of our daily activities which allow us to breathe, phonate, swallow, see, hear, smell and taste are all located in this region.
Various non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tumors can arise in the head and neck region, ranging from superficial skin lesions to deep, invading cancers. Although most growths are benign, surgical excision or biopsy of these tumors is commonly performed to rule out cancer. For example, large lymph nodes are commonly biopsied to rule out cancer.
There are many types of Benign Tumors that can develop in the head and neck. If small and asymptomatic, they can be observed.
Cancer can develop in any part of the head and neck. Cancerous Tumors often require multi-disciplinary treatment including surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
Imaging of the neck with an Ultrasound, MRI or CT scan helps to identify the extent of the tumor and involvement of surrounding structures.
Both benign and malignant tumors often reside next to critical vessels and nerves and therefore require delicate and meticulous surgical technique in order to preserve surrounding structures.