ILOILO CITY — Head and neck cancers may not be as popular when compared with other types of cancer, but the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Western Visayas is hoping to raise public awareness about them for early detection and treatment.
“These are cancers situated either at the neck part or our head which include oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and nasal cavity. They are not popular because very few were detected and there are lesser deaths,” said John Richard Lapascua, Senior Health Program Officer of DOH-CHD 6 on Tuesday.
Lapascua said that in general, cancer happens to be the top three causes of death in 2017 but only a small percentage are head and neck cancers.
In the 1998 study conducted by the DOH, only about 4 percent out of 10 cases are head and neck cancers. The most popular are cancer of the lungs, stomach, colo-rectal for male and cancer of lungs breast, and, cervix for female.
“The signs and symptoms are very overt that warrant consultation with doctors, thus they can be detected early and treated earlier,” he added.
As the country observed the Head and Neck Cancer Awareness last April 7-14, Lapascua would like the public to practice healthy lifestyle to prevent those diseases.
Most at risk to head and neck cancers are tobacco users, those exposed to second hand smoke and radiation, infected by the human papilloma virus, poor oral health, and also due to occupational exposure.
“It has been proven through studies that tobacco really is the number one cause of head and neck cancers and second is alcohol use,” he said.
DOH is yet to have a regional data of such kinds of cancers as some of the patients opted to see specialists for treatment. (PNA)