Head & Neck 

What is Head & Neck Cancer?

Cancer occurs when abnormal cells multiply in an uncontrolled way. It can develop in any part of the body, including the tissues of the head or neck. Head and neck cancer includes a range of different cancers that arise from this region.

How common is head and neck cancer?

Head and neck cancer accounted for 3.6% of cancer diagnoses in 2020, making it the 7th most common cancer in Australia. In Australia, men are nearly 3 times more likely to develop head and neck cancer than women. The rate of head and neck cancer increases with age, and most patients are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70.

How Common Is Head And Neck Cancer? | My ENT Specialist
What Are The Different Types Of Head And Neck Cancer?

What are the different types of head and neck cancer?

Head and neck cancers are classified based on their location, as well as the type of cells that they arise from. Most head and neck cancers originate from the squamous cells that line the inside of the mouth, nose and throat.
Head and neck cancer may originate from the:
It is also possible that squamous cancer cells may be discovered in the lymph nodes (“glands”) of the neck, without evidence of the origin of the cancer.
Cancers that arise from other parts of the head and neck region, such as the thyroid, oesophagus, brain or eye, are not usually classified as head and neck cancer.

What causes head and neck cancer?

There are several factors which may increase your risk of developing head and neck cancer. The presence of risk factors does not mean that you will get cancer. Some people who develop cancer may not have any known risk factors.
Important risk factors for head and neck cancer include:
What is Head & Neck Cancer? | My ENT Specialist
What is Head & Neck Cancer? | My ENT Specialist

What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?

The symptoms of head and neck cancer vary, but may include:

These symptoms could be caused by a number of conditions other than cancer. However, it is important that you consult a doctor for any symptoms that persist for more than a couple of weeks. 

What is the treatment and prognosis of head and neck cancer?

The treatment of head and neck cancer varies depending on the location of the cancer, the type of cancer cells, and whether the cancer has spread. Your general health and wishes will also influence your cancer treatment plan.

Surgery is a common treatment for head and neck cancer. Surgery may be combined with both chemo- and radiation therapy. Targeted therapy, which is medication that specifically attacks cancer cells, is another treatment for some head and neck cancers.

The prognosis of head and neck cancer varies, and depends on the aggressiveness and spread of the cancer. In Australia, 71% of people diagnosed with head and neck cancer survive for at least 5 years.
What is Head & Neck Cancer? | My ENT Specialist

At My ENT Specialist, we understand that a cancer diagnosis can be quite distressing. From thorough investigation and diagnosis, to comprehensive and multidisciplinary treatment plans, as well as ongoing follow-up, our team is committed to ensuring that you receive excellent care.

Head & Neck Conditions and Treatments