Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

What is Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (RHSCC) is a type of cancer that affects the head and neck area. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that form the majority of the skin and other lining surfaces. In head and neck cancer, these cells can become cancerous and start to grow out of control. If left untreated, RHSCC can cause pain, disfigurement, and even death. Early detection and treatment are essential to improve outcomes.

What are the Symptoms of Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

The most common symptoms of RHSCC include swelling or a lump in the neck, difficulty speaking or swallowing, an ongoing sore throat, and weight loss. Other symptoms can include hoarseness, a chronic cough, or a change in the sound of the voice.

Who is at Risk for Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Anyone can be at risk for RHSCC, though certain factors increase the risk. These include a weak immune system, smoking, excessive sun exposure, and drinking alcohol. People with a family history of head and neck cancer are also at a higher risk.

Diagnosis and Treatment

RHSCC is usually diagnosed through a physical examination, imaging tests, and biopsy. Treatment typically involves chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination of both. Surgery is also an option in certain cases. The goal of treatment is to slow down the tumor’s growth and ultimately remove it. Unfortunately, some tumors are too widespread for these treatments to be effective, and the cancer may become recurrent.

Prevention and Outlook

The best way to prevent RHSCC is to reduce risk factors and undergo regular screenings. Those with a higher risk should speak to their doctor about screening and lifestyle modifications. The outlook for RHSCC is uncertain and depends on a variety of factors, such as the stage and type of cancer, the patient’s age and overall health, and the effectiveness of treatment.