Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancers account for approximately 5 to 7 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States, occurring more than twice as often in men than in women. These cancers most frequently affect people with habitual tobacco and excessive alcohol use.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Swelling of the gums or impaired jaw mobility
  • Bleeding, painful or loose teeth
  • Nasal obstructions
  • Voice changes
  • Lump or mass on the neck


Early detection is important in treating all forms of cancer. Most head and neck cancers are treated using one or more of the following options:

Types of head and neck cancer

  • Cancer of the larynx (also called the voicebox, located in a short passageway shaped like a triangle that is just below the pharynx in the neck)
  • Cancer of the oropharynx (in the middle part of the throat)