Head and neck cancers involve malignant tumors located in the mouth, nose or the throat. Most head and neck cancers are of a type called Squamous Cell Carcinoma. This originates from squamous cells which construct the moist, thin lining on the surface of tissues & organs in the head and the neck area.
The types of head and neck cancers vary according to the location of the tumors:
- Oral & oropharynx – this includes the tongue, gums, cheek, lips, roof and the floor of the mouth, as well as the tonsils and space behind them.
- Nasal & paranasal sinuses – cavity of the nose & the air filled spaces surrounding the nose
- Nasopharynx – this is the site in which the back of the nose meets the back of the mouth.
- Larynx – also known as the ‘voicebox’.
- Salivary gland – the saliva producing tissues.