What is Head and Neck Cancer?
Head and neck cancer refers to any cancer that develops in the throat, nose, mouth, lips, voice box, sinuses, or salivary glands. These forms of cancer make up about 3% of all cancer cases in the United States each year. Over 90% of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, meaning they start in the moist, inner lining of the mouth and throat, and can grow into deeper layers of tissue. Cancers of the brain, eyes, esophagus, thyroid, skin, muscles, and bones differ in the tissues of origin and in their behavior. These forms of cancer have much different characteristics than squamous cell carcinomas, and require different diagnoses and treatments.