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Incidence of head and neck cancer

Skin cancer on the nose before (left panel) and after (right panel) radiotherapy
Skin cancer on the nose before (left panel) and after (right panel) radiotherapy

The title head and neck cancer refers to a large group of cancers that arise in this region of the body, have a similar appearance down the microscope (they are all squamous carcinomas) and have many similarities in their behaviour and spread.

 

The commonest site of origin is the larynx, followed by the oral cavity (the mouth) and this is followed by the throat (pharynx – divided in to the postnasal space or nasopharynx, the oropharynx and the lowest region, called the hypopharynx, which inferiorly leads into the oesophagus). Carcinoma of the lip is the least common type.


In the UK, there were about 7500 cases of head and neck cancer in 2004. 

 


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