Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer includes cancers of the mouth, nose, sinuses, salivary glands, throat and lymph nodes in the neck. Most begin in the moist tissues that line the mouth, nose and throat. Symptoms include:

  • A lump or sore that does not heal
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A change or hoarseness in the voice

Using tobacco or alcohol increases your risk. In fact, 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use, including smoking and smokeless tobacco. If found early, these cancers are often curable. Treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination. Treatments can affect eating, speaking or even breathing, so patients may need rehabilitation.

Skin Cancers

Because we are blessed with living in a sunny climate, skin cancers of the head and neck are common. Areas like the top of the ears and nose are especially vulnerable. Dr Grillo is always on the look-out for suspicious looking lesions like basal cell, squamous cell or melanomas during an exam. Many can be removed in the office by a simple cryosurgical procedure. Other lesions may need to be biopsied and removed so the cancer gone. He will do a delicate plastic surgical closure to make the end result looks good.

Taste and Smell Disorders

Our senses of taste and smell give us great pleasure. Taste helps us enjoy food and beverages. Smell lets us enjoy the scents and fragrances like roses or coffee. Taste and smell also protect us, letting us know when food has gone bad or when there is a gas leak. They make us want to eat, ensuring we get the nutrition we need.

People with taste disorders may taste things that aren't there, may not be able to tell the difference in tastes or can't taste at all. People with smell disorders may lose their sense of smell, or things may smell differently. A smell they once enjoyed may now may smell bad to them.

Many illnesses and injuries can cause taste and smell disorders, including colds and head injuries. Some drugs can also affect taste and smell. Most people lose some ability to taste and smell as they get older. Treatment varies, depending on the problem and its cause.

Dizziness and Vertigo

When you're dizzy, you may feel lightheaded or lose your balance. If you feel that the room is spinning, you may have vertigo.

A sudden drop in blood pressure or being dehydrated can make you dizzy. Many people feel lightheaded if they get up too quickly from sitting or lying down.

Dizziness usually gets better by itself or is easily treated. However, it can be a symptom of other disorders. Medicines may cause dizziness or problems with your ear. Motion sickness can also make you dizzy. There are many other causes as well.

Dr Grillo will fully evaluate patients with vertigo and balance disorders. The vestibular system consists of the inner ears and the brain stem along with inputs from the eyes and ankles. This system helps us maintain our center of gravity. Dysfunction of the vestibular system causes symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, lightheadedness, as well as balance problems.

All patients with vestibular complaints undergo a full examination by Dr. Grillo. Appropriate audiological testing is performed. When indicated, vestibular testing including dynamic posturography and video electronystagmography is preformed at our office. These tests help indicate the location and severity of vestibular dysfunction. This helps guide therapy, which frequently includes vestibular rehabilitation.