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Cancer of the Head/Neck Region

Head and neck cancer is a heterogeneous group of malignant diseases that comprise multiple sites of origin and various histopathology. Squamous cell carcinoma constitutes 70% of all cancers in the head/neck region, and the remaining are different types of adenocarcinomas, sarcomas, and others.

The head-neck region is defined as:

  • nasal cavity/paranasal sinuses 
  • larynx 
  • oral cavity 
  • pharynx (naso-, oro-, and hypopharynx)
  • salivary glands 

Incidence

According to American Cancer Society, head and neck cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the United States. In 2016, it was estimated to be 63,030 new cases of head and neck cancer in the United States (46,290 men and 16,740 women). While younger people can develop the disease, most people are over age 50 when they are diagnosed (12).

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