In the U.S., a new head and neck cancer case is diagnosed every 10 minutes.
Head and neck cancers are usually found inside the mouth, nose and throat. It most commonly occurs in the squamous cells that line the mucosal surfaces in these areas. This type of cancer can also begin in the salivary glands but it is relatively uncommon.
The most common cause of head and neck cancer is alcohol and tobacco use. People who use both pose a much greater risk of developing head and neck cancer. Other risk factors include certain types of HPV virus, poor oral health and exposure to radiation.