Head and Neck Cancer

What is head and neck cancer?

Head and neck cancers are a group of cancers that form in the tissues of the upper aerodigestive tract (lips, tongue, mouth, throat and larynx or voice box) or the sinuses and nasal cavity. Most head and neck cancers originate from the squamous cells that make up the lining of these tracts and cavities and are therefore called squamous cell carcinomas.1

How common is head and neck cancer?

Head and neck cancers represent 4% of all cancers worldwide1with more than 550,000 new cases each year2. The location most frequently affected is the oral cavity, counting for 41% of all head and neck cancers, followed by pharynx and larynx cancers with 22% and 24% respectively.1


1. Head and Neck Cancer – A Guide for Patients,
    European Society for Medical Oncology, 2015. 

2. Locally advanced squamous carcinoma of the head and neck,
    2014 Review of Cancer Medicines on the WHO List of Essential Medicines.

  1. Keytruda (pembrolizumab)
    Keytruda (pembrolizumab)
    by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited
    for Urothelial Carcinoma, Gastric Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Lung Cancer, Lymphoma, Skin Cancer
  2. Opdivo (nivolumab)
    Opdivo (nivolumab)
    by Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma EEIG
    for Urothelial Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Lymphoma, Skin Cancer
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