HEAD AND NECK

Head and neck cancer arises in the epithelium of the paranasal sinuses, nasopharynx, oropharynx, oral cavity, hypopharynx and larynx. Risk factors include the use of tobacco and alcohol, as well as viral infections, namely human papillomavirus (HPV) infection (primarily in oropharyngeal cancers), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (in nasopharyngeal cancers).

Over the past 30 years, there has been a drop in the incidence of head and neck cancers caused by tobacco and alcohol, and a rise in the incidence of head and neck cancers caused by HPV; up to 70% of tumors of the oropharynx are predicted to be due to HPV-16/18 infection.