Cancers of the head and neck

This group consists of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, upper respiratory tract and salivary glands. Only the most important types are discussed below.The risk of these cancers is significantly increased by excessive smoking and alcohol abuse. However, not all patients have recognisable risk factors. The occurrence of oropharyngeal cancers related to HPV infections has greatly increased.Early diagnosis is of vital importance as regards treatment and prognosis.Over 90% of these cancers are squamous cell carcinomas or cancers originating from the salivary glands. A lump in the neck may also be the first sign of a lymphoma (see ).