The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors including the exact location of the tumor the stage of the cancer and the persons age and general health treatment for head and neck cancer can include surgery radiation therapy chemotherapy targeted therapy or a combination of treatments. Head and neck cancer often is curable if it is diagnosed early however outcomes are typically poor if it is diagnosed late treatment may include a combination of surgery radiation therapy chemotherapy and targeted therapy following treatment of one head and neck cancer people are at higher risk of a second cancer. The three main types of treatment for managing head and neck cancer are radiation therapy surgery and chemotherapy the primary treatments are radiation therapy surgery or both combined chemotherapy is often used as an additional or adjuvant treatment. Radiation therapy uses high energy radiation beams to kill cancer cells in and around a tumor radiation therapy works in two ways it can stop or slow the growth of the cancer it can shrink tumors reduce some symptoms and relieve pain radiation therapy does not kill cancer cells right away. Introduction treatment for head and neck cancer aims to cure the disease along with good functional results in both speech and swallowing the preferred method of treatment varies depending on the tumor site size and presence or absence of regional lymph nodes
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