October is breast cancer awareness month. There are many worthwhile not-for-profit organizations that support breast cancer research and treatment in the USA. In rare instances, breast cancer cells can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body, including the head and neck.

In the case where breast cancer metastasizes to the head and neck, the breast cancer is referred to as primary and the head and neck cancer secondary. The cells that made up the cancerous tumor in the breast have spread and taken up residence somewhere else. With breast cancer cells, the most common places for secondary cancer are the lymph nodes near the breasts. If the cancer cells travel in the blood stream, they are most likely to cause secondary cancer in the liver, lungs, or bones.

Warning signs of head and neck cancer include:

  • A lump or sore in the mouth or on the lips that does not heal
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or inside of the mouth
  • Pain, bleeding, or numbness in the mouth that is not caused by an injury or other known ailment
  • Prolonged sore throat that does not heal
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Hoarseness or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • Loose teeth that are not the result of injury

For more information about head and neck cancer, contact Orlando ENT Associates.



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