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Ayurvedic treatment for Head and Neck Cancer

Head And Neck Cancers


(1)  Overview

(a) Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer
(b) Hypopharynx cancer
(c) Larynx cancer
(d) Nasopharynx cancer
(e) Salivary glands cancer
(f) Nasal cavity and Paranasal sinus cancer
(g) Eye cancer (Retinoblastoma)

(3) Risk factors
(4) Diagnosis as per modern science
(5) Staging
(6) Ayurvedic treatment

Section I – Head & neck cancers
(a) Oral Cavity cancer

(1) Overview

The lips, buccal mucosa, teeth, gums, the front third of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue, the bony roof of the mouth (hard palate), and the space behind the wisdom teeth are all considered to be parts of the oral cavity (retro molar trigone).


The oropharynx is the area of the throat just behind the mouth where oropharyngeal cancer develops. Where the mouth cavity stops, the oropharynx begins. It also comprises the tonsils and tonsillar pillars, the soft palate, the base of the tongue (the back part of the tongue), and the back of the throat (the posterior pharyngeal wall).


The oropharynx and oral cavity are important for speaking, swallowing, eating, and breathing. Small salivary glands that are dispersed throughout the oral cavity and oropharynx produce saliva that aids in digestion and keeps the mouth wet.


Each of the several tissue types found in the oropharynx and oral cavity has a variety of cell types. Each type of cell can give rise to a different type of cancer.


Squamous cell carcinomas, commonly known as squamous cell cancers, make up more than 90% of oral cavity and oropharynx tumours. Squamous cells, which resemble flat scales, typically line the oropharynx and oral cavity. An accumulation of aberrant squamous cells is the precursor to squamous cell carcinoma.

Carcinoma in situ is a type of cancer that exclusively affects the epithelium, a layer of cells that lines the body’s surface. Squamous cell carcinoma that has spread to deeper layers of the oral cavity or oropharynx is referred to as invasive squamous cell cancer.

(2) Symptoms

(i) A sore in the mouth that does not heal.
(ii) Persistent pain.
(iii) Persistent lump or thickening in the cheek.
(iv) Persistent white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth.
(v) Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
(vi) Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue.
(vii) Numbness of the tongue or in other areas of the mouth.
(viii) Swelling of the jaw.
(ix) Loosening of the teeth without any apparent reason, voice change.
(x) Lump or mass in the neck, weight loss, bad breath.

(3) Risk factors

(a) Tobacco: The risk of developing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer increases with tobacco use, which accounts for about 90% of cases of these diseases.

(b) Alcohol – Drinking alcohol significantly raises a smoker’s risk of oropharyngeal and oral cancer. The majority of alcohol drinkers have it.

(c) Ultraviolet light – The majority of lip cancer patients work outdoors and spend a lot of time in the sun.

(d) Irritation – Oral cancer is more likely in people who have long-term irritation to the mouth’s lining. Tobacco is the main source of this in India.

(e) Human Papillomavirus – Papillomavirus is thought to be a cause of oral malignancies, as well as vulvar, vaginal, and penile cancers.

(f) Immune system suppression – Individuals taking immunosuppressive medications to address specific immune system

(4) Diagnosis as per modern science: –

(I) Complete medical history.
(II) Complete Head & Neck examination including nasopharyngoscopy, Pharyngoscopy, and laryngoscopy.
(III) Ex-foliative cytology.
(IV) Incisional biopsy.
(V) Fine needle biopsy.
(VI) Imaging tests including chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI.

(5) Staging:-

(i) Stage 0 – The cancer is in situ. It has not yet penetrated to a deeper layer of oral or orophayngeal tissue and has not spread to lymph-nodes or distant sites.
(ii) Stage 1 – The tumor is 2cms or smaller and has not spread to lymph nodes or distant sites.
(iii) Stage 2 – The tumor is larger than 2 cms., but smaller tha 4 cms., and has not spread to lymph nodes or distant sites.
(iv) Stage 3 – The tumor is larger than stage 2 and has spread to one lymph node.
(v) Stage 4 – The tumor can be larger than 6 cms and has spread to lymph nodes and to distant sites.

(b) Hypopharynx Cancer: –

(1) Overview: –

The hypopharynx is the final portion of the pharynx or throat. This is a hollow tube that extends down from beneath the nose for 5 inches before joining the oesophagus. Pharynx is the passageway for food and air before they reach the oesophagus or trachea, respectively.


The majority of the cancerous cells in hypopharyngeal cancer are squamous cells, which are scaly, flat cells. Non-lymphomas, Hodgekin’s which make up a minor subset of lymphomas, could also be malignancy.

The lymphatic system is typically used to transmit hypopharyngeal carcinoma. Additionally, the lymphs, a colourless fluid containing cells that aid in the fight against sickness and infection, transport the malignant cells.

(2) Symptoms: –

(I) A sore in the throat that will nor soothe.
(II) Difficulty and pain while chewing and swallowing.
(III) A change in the voice or pain in the ear.

(3) Risk factors: –

(i) Tobacco use
(ii) Tobacco chewing as is common in many south asean countries.
(iii) Chronic usage of alcohol.

(4) Diagnosis as per modern science: –

(i) Direct laryngoscopy.
(ii) Biopsy
(iii) Barium swallow to detect spread in the oesophagus and digestive organs.

(5) Staging: –

(a) Stage 1 – The disease is only in one part of the hypopharynx and has not spread to the lymph nodes in the area.
(b) Stage 2 – It has spread to more than one part of the hypopharynx or has spread to tissues adjacent to the hypopharynx but has not grown into the larynx. Has not spread to the lymph nodes.
(c) Stage 3 – The disease has spread to nearby organs and the lymphatic system.
(d) Stage 4 – The cancer has spread to the distant organs of the body.

(c) Laryngeal cancer: –

(1) Overview: –

The two-inch-long larynx is a neck organ. Humans need their larynx to speak, breathe, and swallow. Cartridge is used to make it. The term “adam’s apple” also refers to the primary cartilage that makes up the front of the larynx.

The food pipe, also known as the oesophagus, is located in the neck just between the trachea and larynx and is responsible for transporting food from the mouth to the stomach. The larynx and oesophageal aperture are next to one another in the throat.

In order to stop food from entering the wrong channel and entering the lungs as we swallow, a little flap known as the epiglottis descends to cover the larynx.


The other important anatomical areas of the larynx are,


(i) The glottis, which is where the vocal cords are.

(ii) The supraglottis, which is the area above the vocal cords.

(iii) The subglottis, which is the area which connects the larynx to the trachea.

Any other part of the larynx, including the glottis, supraglottis, and subglottis, can develop laryngeal cancer. Additionally, the cancer may spread to the neck’s lymph nodes or lymph glands from the larynx.

Laryngeal cancer can spread through lymph nodes to other regions of the throat and neck, the lungs, the tongue’s back, and other distant sections of the body such the bones and the brain.

(2) Symptoms: –

(I)The voice cords are where the majority of malignancies start. These benign tumours nearly invariably result in a change in voice or hoarseness and are painless.

(ii) Tumors in the supraglottis can give the sensation of a lump, a sore throat, or an earache.

(iii) Although they are extremely uncommon, tumours behind the vocal cords can make breathing difficult and noisy.

(iv) Coughing up blood or experiencing a lump in the throat are early indicators of laryngeal cancer.

(v) As the tumours continue to grow, they result in weight loss, pain, poor breath, and frequent food choking.

(vi) On occasion, a tumour may become so large that it prevents the patient from swallowing.

(3) Risk factors: –

(i) Gender & age – It is most often seen in people aged above 55 years and it is seen more commonly in men than in women.
(ii) Smoking and chewing tobacco is a very potent risk for developing laryngeal cancer.
(iii) Alcohol – Alcohol combined with tobacco is a high risk factor for causing laryngeal cancer.
(iv) Asbestos – Asbestos workers also run a great risk of getting cancer of the larynx.

(4) Diagnosis as per modern science: –

(I) Indirect laryngoscopy – This procedure involves indirectly inspecting the larynx and voice cords for any abnormalities using a small, long-handled mirror. The examination is painless.
(ii) Direct laryngoscopy – This more in-depth examination involves inserting a metallic tube into the patient’s mouth or nose, either self-lighted or indirectly lit. Laryngoscope is another name for this tube. The doctor can examine parts of the throat that are not visible with the straightforward mirror used during indirect laryngoscopy as the tube moves down the throat.
(iii) Biopsy/b> – The removal of a little sample of representative tissue is performed during a biopsy if a doctor observes any abnormalities. The existence of cancer cells is then checked for on this tissue sample.

Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common type of laryngeal cancer cells. Squamous cells are flat, scale-like cells that line the vocal cords, the epiglottis, and other sections of the larynx.

(5) Staging: –

(a) Stage I – The tumour is smaller than 2 cms and has not migrated to the lymph nodes.

(b) Stage II – The tumour is 2 to 3 cms in size or affects more than one subsite of the larynx.

(c) Stage III – On the same side of the neck as the main tumour, the cancer has progressed to lymph nodes, but their size is less than 3 cm.

(d) Stage IVa – One lymph node on the same side of the neck as the initial tumour has spread and is around 3 to 6 cm in size.

IVb – The tumour may be larger than 6 cms and has migrated to the lymph nodes on both sides of the neck.

IVc – The tumour is bigger and has spread to the lymph nodes.

(d) Nasopharynx cancer: –
(1) Overview: –

The region behind the nose, towards the skull’s base, is known as the nasopharynx. The nasopharynx is a box-shaped organ with a diameter of 1.5 inches. It is located behind the opening of the nasal passages, right above the soft palate. It frequently spreads quickly. There are several different cell types in the nasopharynx. Each type of cell has the potential to produce a different cancer.


Three types of cancerous tumors are recognized in the nasopharynx.


(a) Keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma.

(b) Non—keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma.

(c) Undifferentiated carcinoma.

Lymphomas can also be found in the nasopharynx. They are cancers of immune system cells called lymphocytes.

(2) Symptoms: –

Some patients with nasopharynx cancer have no symptoms at all. Most of the patients have a lump or tumor mass in the neck area when the cancer is diagnosed. Other symptoms may present as follows.

(i) Loss of hearing.
(ii) Nasal blockage or stuffiness.
(iii) Painful nose-bleeds.
(iv) Difficulty opening the mouth.
(v) Blurred or double vision.

(3) Risk factors: –

(i) Diet – Nasopharynx cancer is commonly seen in people having high salt content fish and meat diet.
(ii) Virus infections – Infection with EBV virus can cause mononucleosis, leading to cancer of the nasopharynx.
(iii) Tobacco and alcohol – People habituated to chewing tobacco, or smoking with alcohol intake are at a very high risk of developing nasopharynx cancer.
(iv) Genetic factors – It is found that people with certain tissue types are at a higher risk of developing nasopharynx cancer.

(4) Diagnosis as per modern science: –

(a) X-Ray
(b) C-T Scan
(c) MRI
(d) Blood Tests
(e) Fine needle Biopsy

(5) Staging & Grading: –

(A) Stage 0 – The cancer is localized, has not spread to lymph nodes or distant places, and has not gotten into deeper layers of the tissues.

(B) Stage I – The tumor has not yet progressed to the lymph nodes or other organs and is only present in the nasopharynx.

(C) Stage II – The tumor has not yet progressed to lymph nodes or distant places but has soft tissues in the oropharynx and nasal cavity.

(D) Stage III – The tumor has not yet progressed to distant places but has reached the soft tissues of the oropharynx and nasal cavity, as well as lymph nodes no bigger than 6 cm on either side of the neck.

(E) Stage IV refers to a tumor that is greater than 6 cm and has spread to distant places such as lymph nodes.

(e) Salivary Glands tumor: –

(1) Overview: –

Saliva is a fluid that keeps the mouth moist, and these glands create saliva. During chewing, it also moistens and softens food and has a limited digestive effect on food components.


The three categories of salivary glands make up the majority of them.

(i)The largest glands are located right in front of the ear, in the parotid region.

(ii) Just below the jaws, extending somewhat into the top of the neck, are the submandibular glands.

(iii) The sublingual glands are situated on either side of the mouth’s floor

(iv) The mouth and other regions of the upper gastrointestinal tract include a number of monoor salivary glands as well.

Although only a small percentage of tumours in the salivary glands can be malignant, most of them are not. There are various forms of salivary gland cancers.

(2) Symptoms: –

(i) A mass or lump in the face, neck, or mouth
(ii) Pain in one place in the face, neck, or mouth
(iii) A newly noticed difference between the size and/or shape of the left and right sides of the face or neck
(iv) Numbness in part of the face, noticeable  weakness of the muscles on one side of the face.

(3) Risk factors: –

(i) Radiation exposure – Industrial exposure to certain radioactive elements increases risk levels of salivary glands tumor.
(ii) Diet – Diets rich in animal fats, but low in fruits and vegetables may leads to salivary glads tumors.
(iii) Tobacco & Alcohol – Chewing and smoking of tobacco combined with alcohol greatly increases the risk of salivary glands tumors.
(iv) Hereditary factor – Certain inherited genetic factors are responsible for causing salivary gland tumors.

(4) Diagnosis as per modern science: –

(i) X – Ray
(ii) C-T Scan
(iii) MRI
(iv) Biopsy
(v) Fine needle aspiration

(5) Staging: –

(a) Stage I – The cancer is less than 4 cm in diameter and has not metastasized to the lymph nodes in the area or to the surrounding tissue.

(b) Stage II: When the cancer has spread to more than 4 cm of surrounding tissue, such as the skin, soft tissues, bone, or nerve close to the glands, but not the nearby lymph nodes.

(c) Stage III – A adjacent lymph node has been affected.

(d) Stage IV – Any size carcinoma that has progressed to two or more lymph nodes on either the right or left side of the neck. extend to far-off organs.

(f) Nasal cavity & Paranasal sinus cancer: –

(1) overview: –

The nasal cavity or route is where the nose opens. Along the top of the palate, this hollow curves downward to connect with the throat passage.

The phrase “paranasal sinus” refers to the area next to the sinuses. They are little tunnel-filled chambers. The air we breathe is filtered, warmed, and humidified in part thanks to the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Additionally, they give the voice resonance, lighten the skull, and serve as the bone framework for the face and eyes.

Known as mucosa, the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses are coated with this layer of mucus-producing tissue.

The mucosa contains a variety of cell types:

-Squamous epithelial cells, which are lining cells and form the majority of the mucosa.

-Glandular cells, such as minor salivary glands etc. which produce mucus and other fluids.

-Nerve cells which are responsible for sensation and the sense of smell in the nose.

-Infection fighting cells which are part of the immune system, blood vessel cells, and other supporting cells

All of these cells that make up the mucos can become cancerous.

-Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type.

-Adenocarcinoma – Cancer of the glandular cells.

-Malignant lymphomas – Cancer arising out of lymph or immune system cells.

-Malignant melanoma – Cancer of pigment or skin color containing cells.

-Papilomas – Wart like growths that are not cancer, but have a potential to become cancerous.

-Esthesioneuroblastomas – These are derived from the olfactory nerves, the cells that govern the sense of smell.

(2) Symptoms: –

– Persistent or progressive nasal congestion and stuffiness.
– Pain above or below the eyes.
– One sided nasal obstruction
– Nasal bleeds and nasal drainage in the back of the nose and throat.
– Pus drainage from the nose
– Decresed sense of smell and numbness or pain inparts of the face.
– Groeth or tumor in the face
– Bulging of the eyes or loss of vision.

(3) Risk factors: –

(i) Radiation exposure – Industrial exposure to certain radioactive elements increases risk levels of salivary glands tumor.

(ii) Diet – Diets rich in animal fats, but low in fruits and vegetables may leads to salivary glads tumors.

(iii) Tobacco & Alcohol – Chewing and smoking of tobacco combined with alcohol greatly increases the risk of salivary glands tumors.

(iv) Hereditary factor – Certain inherited genetic factors are responsible for causing salivary gland tumors.

(4) Diagnosis as per modern science: –

(i) X – Ray

(ii) C-T Scan

(iii) MRI

(iv) Biopsy

(v) Fine needle aspiration


(5) Staging: –

(A) Stage I – The malignancy has not progressed outside of the sinus mucosa.

(B) Stage II – The cancer has not gone past the maxillary sinuses but has damaged or destroyed some of those bones.

(C) Stage III – The cancer has spread into the sinus’s backbone. The tissues of the face, eye socket, or ethmoid sinus in front of the maxillary sinus have been affected by the cancer. The lymphatic system or distant organs may not have been affected by the cancer’s spread.

(D) Stage IV – The cancer has reached one or more lymph nodes, is greater than 3 cm, and has spread to distant organs at this point.

(g) Eye cancer (Retinoblastoma) –
(1) Overview: –

At the rear of the two eyes is a lining of nerve cells called the ratina. It is a photosensitive layer, which means that it detects light and creates images.

Retinoblastoma is the name for cancer of the ratin. At any age, it can happen. Either one or both eyes may experience symptoms. Typically, the tumour stays within the eye socket, avoiding the adjacent tissues.

Retinoblastoma has a tendency to be hereditary. This type of cancer often is seen in children.

(2) Symptoms: –

Usually the tumor id quite evident, with the patient having a white or discolured bulging tumor in one or both eyes, which may have no vision at all.

(3) Risk factors: –

(1) Age – Children are more likely than adults to have eye cancer.

(2) Genetic considerations – Retinoblastoma is inherited in about 50% of cases. The other half can take place for different causes. While random retinoblastomas often only affect one eye, hereditary ones frequently affect both.

(4) Diagnosis as per modern science: –
As per modern science diagnosis may involve CT Scan, MRI, Sonography of the abdomen, Bone scan, Biopsy etc.
(5) Staging: –
(a) Intraoccular retinoblastoma – Cancer has not spread to nearby or distant tissues and is contained to one or both eyes.

(b) Extraoccular retinoblastoma – Cancer has metastasized outside of the eyes, either in nearby tissues or in distant organs.
(c) Recurrant retinoblastoma – This condition has returned following the completion of the initial course of treatment. Any portion of the body, including the eye, could have experienced it.

Ayurvedic Treatment:

Some of the most reliable ayurvedic remedies for brain tumours have been enumerated below:

  • Ashwagandha: The herb ashwagandha has amazing medicinal qualities. They significantly contribute to your body’s ability to regain strength and immunity. It has beneficial antioxidant qualities and anti-inflammatory abilities. It provides important nutrient additions, enhancing brain functions and reducing the negative impacts of damaging radiation.
  • Curcumin: Ayurvedic treatment for brain tumours that works. Malignant cells have been known to be destroyed from your body by curcumin. It boosts immunity in addition to being a fantastic antioxidant. Additionally, it has grown in popularity as a treatment for brain tumours.
  • Guggul: Guggul is renowned for restoring health and rejuvenating harmed tissues. It boosts the body’s oxidation potentials and hastens the recovery from brain malignancies.

Ayurvedic treatment at Dr Shinde’s Clinic has assisted thousands of people in experiencing symptomatic as well as systematic improvements, an increase in energy levels, successfully treating thousands of cancer patients worldwide, and an overall improvement in quality of life. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you.