Head and Neck Cancer

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Why choose Prolife Cancer Centre for your oral cancer care?

Prolife Cancer centre is one of the best Hospital for Oral Cancer Treatment in Pune. At Prolife Cancer Centre, your care for oral cancer is personalized. Your cancer care team, will communicate closely and work together, and with you, to customize your care, including the most advanced therapies with the least impact on your body.


We offer new strategies to maintain dental and oral health treatment. Our highly specialized speech pathologists and therapists are among the most experienced in the nation, particularly in the newest methods of voice restoration and speech.


And at Prolife Cancer Centre, you’re surrounded by the strength of India’s largest and most experienced comprehensive cancer centre, which has all the services needed to treat the whole person – not just the disease.

Oral Cancer Treatment in Pune | Oral Cancer Specialist In Pune | Dr. Sumit Shah
Best cancer surgeon In Pune | Cancer Specialist in Pune | Dr. Sumit Shah

Dr. Sumit Shah – Cancer Specialist in Pune

Dr. Sumit Shah, a renowned Chief Consultant, Surgical Oncologist, and Laparoscopic surgeon, is the founder of Prolife Cancer Centre & Research Institute. This state-of-the-art medical facility provides a comprehensive range of integrated cancer treatment options under one roof. Dr. Shah has pursued a super-specialty course in Surgical Oncology at the Cancer Centre Welfare Home and Res. Institute in Kolkata, where he was recognized as the Best Outgoing Cancer Surgeon. He is among the few cancer specialist in Pune who possess this recognized degree, demonstrating his exceptional expertise in the field of surgical oncology.

What is Head and Neck cancer?

Head and neck cancer is an appropriate term used for a range of cancers that start in the head and neck of the body. This region includes the mouth, tongue, palate, jaw, salivary glands, tonsils, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), nose and sinuses. Most of the head and neck cancers initiate in the cells that surround the moist surfaces of the mouth, nose or throat (squamous cells). These are called squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), they can also occur in other parts of the body.

Some head and neck cancers start in the glandular cells. Many of these are called adenocarcinomas.

Types of head and Neck cancer:

There are five main types of head and neck cancer:

  1. Oral cavity
  2.  Pharynx
  3.  Larynx
  4.  Nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses
  5.  Salivary glands.

1.  Mouth (Oral cavity): The mouth, also termed as the oral cavity, includes the lips, gums, and tongue. The muscles at the base of the tongue continue into the upper throat (oropharynx). Cancer that starts in the mouth is also called as oral cancer.

2. Throat (pharynx): Throat is also called the pharynx, is a hollow tube that starts behind the nose and leads to the food pipe (esophagus) and the windpipe (trachea).

Throat Cancer can affect the three parts of the pharynx:

a. Nasopharynx – the upper part which is behind the nose and above the soft palate; cancer starting in this area is called nasopharyngeal cancer.

b. Oropharynx–  the middle part which is the area from the soft palate and tongue base to the back of the mouth, including the tonsils; cancer developed in this area is called oropharyngeal cancer.

c. Hypopharynx – the lower part, behind the voice box (larynx); cancer starting in this area is called hypopharyngeal cancer.

3.Larynx(Voice box): The voice box, also called the larynx, is a short passageway that connects the lower part of the throat (hypopharynx) with the windpipe (trachea). Cancer that starts developing in the larynx is called laryngeal cancer. The larynx contains the vocal cords also termed as (glottis), which vibrate when the air passes through them to produce the sound of your voice.

4. Nasal cavity and paranasalsinuses: Nasal cavity is the large, hollow space located inside the nose. This space warms, moistens and filters the air that you breathe. The bones around the nasal cavity have a small bunch of air-filled spaces called the paranasal sinuses. These sinuses directly affect the sound and tone of your voice.

There are four pairs of paranasal sinuses:

1. Maxillary sinuses – under the eyes and in the cheek area

2. Frontal sinuses – behind the forehead

3. Ethmoid sinuses – above the nose and between the eyes

4. Sphenoid sinuses – behind the nose and between the eyes.

  1. Salivary glands: The salivary glands make saliva, which keeps the mouth moist, helps you swallow food and protects the mouth against infections. There are three major salivary glands:
  1. Parotid gland – in front of the ears
  2. Sublingual gland – under the tongue
  3. Submandibular gland – under the jawbone.

There are hundreds of smaller glands throughout the lining of the mouth and throat, called as the minor salivary glands. Most salivary gland cancers affect the parotid glands. Rarely the submandibular and sublingual glands are affected.

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    Symptoms of head and neck cancer

    1.Mouth (Oral cavity)
    1. Mouth pain or pain when swallowing
    2. A persistent sore or swelling in the mouth
    3. Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
    4. Red or white patches on the gums, tongue or mouth
    5. Bad breath
    6. Changes in speech or difficulty pronouncing words.
    7. Difficulty chewing or swallowing food, difficulty moving the tongue or limited chewing
    2. Throat (pharynx):
    1. Throat pain or difficulty swallowing
    2. A persistent sore throat or cough
    3. Coughing up bloody phlegm
    4. Bad breath
    5. Weight loss
    6. Voice changes or hoarseness
    1. 3.Larynx(Voice box)
      1. Swelling or a lump in the neck or throat
      2. A persistent change in the sound of your voice, including hoarseness
      3. Difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
      4. Constant coughing
      5. Difficulty breathing
      4.Nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses
      1. Decreased sense of smell
      2. A persistent blocked nose, particularly in one nostril
      3. Frequent nosebleeds
      4. Excess mucus in the throat or back of the nose
      5. Frequent headaches or sinus pressure
      5. Salivary glands :
        1. Swelling or a lump near the ear, jaw, lip, or inside the mouth
        2. Different appearance on each side of the face or neck
        3. Difficulty swallowing or opening

    Diagnosis of Head and Neck Cancer

    If you notice any symptoms, consult your general practitioner. To diagnose a head and neck cancer, your general practitioner or dentist will do some general tests and then refer you to a specialist for additional medical tests. Depending on your symptoms, tests will include examinations, tissue sampling (biopsy) and imaging tests. You may also have blood tests.

    Diagnostic tests for head and neck Cancer:

    • Physical examination
    • Nasendoscopy
    • Laryngoscopy
    • Biopsy
    • Testing lymph nodes
    • X-rays

    Stages of Head and Neck Cancer

    Staging is a way of describing where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting other parts of the body.

    Doctors use diagnostic tests to find out cancer’s stage, so staging may not be complete until all of the tests are finished. Staging is a process that tells a doctor if cancer has spread and if it has, how far. It depends on the severity of the original tumor, and whether cancer has spread to lymph nodes or distant parts of the body. Staging is an important step in evaluating treatment options. Staging is slightly different for each specific type of head and neck cancer.

    Stage 0

    • Cancer found only in squamous cells where it began. Called “carcinoma in situ,” meaning it has not yet invaded nearby tissue.
    • Surgery.

    Stage I

    • Cancer has invaded nearby tissue but has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
    • Surgery and/or radiation therapy.

    Stage II

    • Cancer has grown even deeper into nearby tissue but still has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
    • Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy (at times), or a combination of these treatments.

    Stage III

    • Cancer has either grown much deeper into surrounding tissue or started to spread to one lymph node.
    • Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.

    Stage IVa

    • Cancer has grown completely through surrounding tissue into adjacent structures (such as tissue, cartilage, bone, or nerves) and may have spread to a few lymph nodes.
    • Cancer has spread to more than one lymph node.
    • Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.

    Stage IVb

    • Cancer has grown completely through surrounding tissue and invaded major structures (such as the carotid artery or skull base) and may have spread to the lymph nodes.
    • OR
    • Cancer has spread to a large lymph node.
    • Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.

    Stage IVc

    • Cancer has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body
    • Generally not curable but chemotherapy may be administered to decrease symptoms or delay the progression of cancer.

    Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer

    Head and neck cancers vary a lot in terms of where they arise as well as the specific type. Treatment for head and neck cancers will depend upon the location and type of cancer as well as the person’s individual features and risk factors.

    • Where the cancer is located
    • What stage the cancer is in
    • How old you are
    • Your general health

    1.Surgery –

    Your doctor might zap cancer with a laser or take out the tumor and some of the healthy tissue around it. If there’s a chance cancer has spread, your doctor might take out some of the small glands called lymph nodes in your neck.

    2.Radiation –

    Your doctor might use X-rays or other energy particles to kill the cancer cells. Some of the side effects include:

    • Pain or trouble swallowing
    • Changes in your voice
    • Loss of appetite
    • Red or irritated skin
    • Thick spit.

    3.Chemotherapy (“Chemo”). You’ll be given medication to stop the cancer cells from growing and dividing, which should destroy them. The following are possible side effects:

    • Feeling tired
    • Infection
    • Feeling sick to your stomach
    • Hair loss
    • Loss of appetite
    • Diarrhea

    Follow up of Head and Neck Cancer

    Head and neck carcinoma (HNC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. In general, the proper assessment of any cancer surveillance program must consider the recurrence rate, the optimal method for surveillance, and whether earlier detection of recurrence leads to increased rates of successful salvage treatment and improved survival. Follow-up in HNC patients has several goals: to assess clinical response and late effects of treatment; to detect recurrences and second cancers at an early stage, and to restore nutritional and psychosocial status.

    Follow-up visit should include a physical examination of cranial nerve examination, an assessment of vocal, breathing and swallowing functions, and a systemic pain evaluation using a visual analogic scale.

    Follow-up protocols should avoid unnecessary investigations that may cause morbidity or discomfort to the patient and may have significant cost implications without impact on survival.

    Google Reviews

    Based on 204 reviews
    taha ali
    taha ali
    Consulted Dr. Sumit Shah for Cancer of Sigmoid Colon. We consulted our family physician Dr. Murtaza Saifee as my mother was complaining of abdomen pain and bleeding in her stools. Dr. Saifee sent us for further investigations. After doing her PET Scan and Colonoscopy she was diagnosed with Carcinoma of Sigmoid Colon. Dr. Saifee then referred us to Dr. Sumit Shah at Prolife Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Pune for the further treatment. Dr. Shahs expertise and knowledge in the cancer field gave us the confidence to proceed further. Dr. Sumit Shah did her surgery laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy for sigmoid colon cancer and her surgery went well. Her recovery was also quite stable and quicker than we had imagined. Also it was early stage cancer so she didn’t require any chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The entire staff at Prolife Cancer Centre took great care of her and supported her in this journey. Thankyou to Dr. Shah and his team for all that they've done for her fast recovery.
    Azhar Mulla
    Azhar Mulla
    We visited a lot of hospitals and doctors for my father's treatment but continuously failed with his treatment. That's when we came across Dr. Sumit Shah through a through Google search. Visiting Dr. Shah at Prolife Centre and Research Institute was a blessing to us. Dr. Shah's expertise in this field and positive outlook towards the patient gave us confidence in the treatment of my fathers health. My father underwent the Whipple Surgery under Dr. Shah. The surgery was successful and since then his recovery has been smooth. My father's follow up has been regular and the entire staff takes good care of his health. We sincerely express our gratitude to Dr. Shah and the entire team at Prolife Cancer Centre and Research Institute for taking care of my father and helping us out in the challenging journey. Thankyou so much.
    Kartik Rathod
    Kartik Rathod
    Dr. Sumit Shah is a lifesaver in every sense of the word and undoubtedly the best pancreatic cancer surgeon in Pune. His exceptional surgical skills and deep understanding of pancreatic cancer turned a frightening diagnosis into a story of hope and recovery for me. Dr. Shah's attention to detail, commitment to patient well-being, and ability to navigate complex procedures are truly commendable. Thanks to him, I am now enjoying a second chance at life. I can't express my gratitude enough for Dr. Shah's expertise and care. If you're seeking the finest pancreatic cancer treatment in Pune, look no further than Dr. Sumit Shah.
    kiran sathe
    kiran sathe
    I can't thank Dr. Sumit Shah enough for his exceptional surgical skills and personalized care in pancreatic cancer treatment in Pune. Facing pancreatic cancer was daunting, but Dr. Shah's expertise put me at ease. He explained the entire treatment plan thoroughly, and the surgery he performed was a success. I highly recommend Dr. Shah, the leading Pancreatic Cancer doctor in Pune, to anyone seeking the best care for this challenging condition.
    Rangnath Pawar
    Rangnath Pawar
    Visited for pancreatic cancer My father was complaining of stomach ache in April of this year so we took him to a general physician but the pain did not subside. Then we went to an Gastroenterologist Dr. Lalit Shimpi. He investigated further. He told us to do an endoscopy and thats when we were told that he was suffering from Pancreatic Cancer. We also consulted Dr Varun Khandagale , gastroenterologist he also suggested the same. Coming from a small village Takleyali of Taluka Shirur, dist Ahamadnagar.Dr. Shimpi referred us to Dr. Sumit Shah and Prolife Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Gultekdi, Pune. We met Dr. Shah and he recommended us that we go for surgery as its the best fit for him. My father immediately underwent surgery for Carcinoma Pancreas which was done by Dr. Shah himself. Now, my father is undergoing chemotherapy at Prolife Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Gultekdi, Pune under guidance of Dr minish jain and dr shah. we continue to experience the same high level of care. We are confident that he is in the best possible hands as he fights this battle. I cannot thank Dr. Shah and the entire team enough for their expertise, professionalism, and genuine concern for their patients. Thank you all staff and doctors at prolife
    Wasim Shaikh
    Wasim Shaikh
    My brother had pain around his mouth so we consulted our family doctor. We were shocked to know that he was diagnosed with mouth Cancer after investigating further. Post diagnosis we were looking for an experienced oncologist in Pune and that's when our family doctor recommended that we come see Dr. Sumit Shah and talk about the further treatment and management. Our first impression on coming to Profile Cancer Centre and Research institute was quite good. We were all on edge on the day of our first consultation but Dr. Shah was very radiant and confident. He explained everything to us in detail and his positive attitude regarding the health of my brother pushed us to get him treated here. Right from the first day Dr. Shah's entire team took great care of my brother. He underwent surgery here at Prolife. The surgery went well and his recovery was very smooth and quicker than we expected. We really appreciate everything that Dr. Shah and his team did for my brother. Thank you so much to Dr. Shah for treating my brother with utmost care and making the whole journey an easy one for us.
    Ayyub Shaikh
    Ayyub Shaikh
    My wife had difficulty in swallowing a year back so I took the treatment of our family doctor. Her complaints were on and off but never went away. That's when our doctor investigated further and recommended us to Dr. Sumit Shah at Prolife Cancer Centre, Pune. The day we first came to meet Dr. Shah we were very scared and worried about her condition but Dr. Shah provided us the moral boost and explained to us the step by step treatment and the duration. I must say talking to Dr. Shah reduced our worries to tenfold. My wife has nodule in thyroid . She underwent surgery at prolife. Here recovery was very smooth with no change in voice . She started eating in the evening We are very happy and content to have come to him for the treatment. His patient connection and the positive attitude was a relief to me. The staff here was very cooperative and supportive. We are usually scared to go to a hospital but coming here and seeing the infrastructure and the hygiene of this hospital was a total relief to us. Everyone was so attentive and patient with us and I'm thankful to Dr. Shah and his team for taking such good care of my wife. I really appreciate the team of Prolife Centre and recommend every patient to not ignore their symptoms and directly contact Dr. Shah. Thank you so much.
    Sushma Pilane
    Sushma Pilane
    I had pain in my breast so my family doctor recommended me to Dr. Sumit Shah. Meeting him and seeing his positive attitude has given me relief. He guided me through my entire course of treatment. Talking to him has given me a positive outlook towards my symptoms. I would recommend everyone to consult Dr. Shah.

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