Head and Neck Cancer Overview
Head and neck cancer refers to a group of cancers that are biologically similar – starting in the lip, mouth, nasal cavity, sinuses, pharynx and larynx. These head and neck cancers are, in 90% of cases, squamous cell carcinomas, originating from the epithelial tissues which line the cavities and surfaces of these structures and organs.
The onset of head and neck cancers is strongly associated with environmental and behavioural factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, exposure to UV light, toxic chemicals and viruses such as the human papillomavirus.
Head and neck cancers tend to be aggressive or fast-growing, however they can be cured if detected early, usually through surgery and/or radiotherapy.
Please click on the below for more information about types of head and neck cancers.
Cancers of the oesophagus, the brain, eye, scalp, skin and muscles of the head and neck are not considered ‘head and neck cancers’.