Head and Neck Cancer: A General Overview

  • George E. Laramore
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


In 1987 the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 41 900 cases of head and neck cancer in the United States alone (Silverberg and Lubera 1987). There will be approximately 13 200 deaths due to these malignancies. While tumors of the head and neck are uncommon compared to those arising in the lung, breast, prostate gland, or gastrointestinal tract, their diagnosis and treatment constitutes a major medical management problem. The majority of head and neck cancers are squamous cell in histology and are associated with the twin risk factors of tobacco and ethanol abuse. They generally occur in patients in the lower socioeconomic strata and such persons often wait until the tumors are quite advanced before seeking medical attention. These patients may have a marginal existence at best and often cannot cope with the cosmetic deformities of surgery and/or the rigors of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.


Thyroid Cancer Oral Cancer Paranasal Sinus Laryngeal Cancer Atomic Bomb Survivor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Al-Saraff M, Pajak T. F, Laramore GE (1984) The appropriateness of the present AJC and UICC staging system for head and neck cancer for protocol design and results reporting. Proc Int Conf Head and Neck Cancer 61: 61Google Scholar
  2. Baumslag N, Keen P, Petering H G (1971) Carcinoma of the maxillary antrum and its relationship to trace metal content of snuff. Arch Environ Hlth 23:1–5Google Scholar
  3. Beebe GW (1981) The Atomic bomb survivors and the problem of low-dose radiation effects. Am J Epidemiol 114: 761–783PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Blot WJ, Fraumeni Jr JF (1977) Geographic patterns of oral cancer in the United States: Etiologic implications. J Chron Dis 30: 745–757PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blot WJ, Winn DM, Fraumeni Jr JF (1983) Oral cancer and mouthwash use. J Natl Cancer Inst 70: 255–260Google Scholar
  6. Boice Jr JD, Land CE (1982) Ionizing radiation In: Shottenfeld D, JF (eds) Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Saunders, Philadelphia, 231–253Google Scholar
  7. Brinton LA, Blot WJ, Becker JA, Winn DM, Browder JA, Farmen JC, Fraumeni JF (1984) A case-control study of cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Am J Epidemiol 119: 896–906PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Broders AC (1926) Carcinoma: grading and practical application. Arch Path 2: 376–381Google Scholar
  9. Conrad RA (1977) Summary of thyroid findings in Marshallese 22 years after exposure to radioactive fallout In: De-Groot LJ (ed) Radiation-Associated Thyroid Cancer, Grune and Stratton, New York, 241–257Google Scholar
  10. Crissman JD, Liu WY, Gluckman JL, Cummings G (1984) Prognostic value of histopathologic parameters in squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx. Cancer 54: 2995–3001PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cuello C, Correa P, Eisenberg H (1969) Geographic pathology of thyroid carcinoma. Cancer 23: 230–239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Decoufle P (1982) Occupation In: Schottenfeld D, Fraumeni JF (eds) Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. Saunders, Philadelphia, 318–335Google Scholar
  13. Dobyns BM, Sheline GF, Workman JB, Tompkins EA, McConahey WM, Becker DV (1974) Malignant and benign neoplasms of the thyroid in patients treated for hyperthyroidism: A report of the cooperative thyrotoxicosis therapy follow-up study. J Clin Endrocinol Metab 38: 976–998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flanders WD, Cann CI, Rothman KJ, Fried MP (1984) Work-related risk factors for laryngeal cancer. Am J Epidemiol 119: 23–32PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Fletcher GH, Jesse RH, Lindberg RD, Westbrook KC (1978) Neck nodes In: Fletcher GH (ed) Textbook of Radiotherapy, Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, 249–270Google Scholar
  16. Graham S, Mettlin C, Marshall J, Priore R, Rzepka T, Shedd D (1981) Dietary factors in the epidemiology of cancer of the larynx. Am J Epidemiol 113: 675–680PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Griffin TW, Pajak TF, Gillespie BW, Davis LW, Brady LW, Rubin P, Marcial VA (1984) Predicting the response of head and neck cancers to radiation therapy with a multivariate modelling system: an analysis of the RTOG head and neck registry. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 10: 418–487Google Scholar
  18. Hempelmann LH, Hall WJ, Phillips M, Cooper RA, Ames WR (1975) Neoplasms in persons treated with x-rays in infancy: fourth survey in 20 years. J Natl Cancer Inst 55: 519–530PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Ho JHC, Huang DP, Fong YY (1978) Salted fish and nasopharyngeal carcinoma in southern Chinese. Lancet 2: 626PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacobsson PA (1976) Histologic grading of malignancy and prognosis in glottic carcinoma of the larynx, Workshop No. 14 In: Alberti PW, Bryce DP (eds). Centennial Conference on Laryngeal Cancer. Appelton Century Crofts, New York, 847–854Google Scholar
  21. Keane TJ (1985) Clinical staging of head and neck cancer In: Chretien PB, Johns ME, Shedd DP, Strong EW, Ward PH (eds) Head and Neck Cancer Volume I. Decker, Philadelphia, 89–91Google Scholar
  22. Lin F, Liu PI, McGregor DH (1977) Isoantigens A, B, and H in morphologically normal mucosa and in carcinoma of the larynx. Am J Clin Path 68: 372–376PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Marshall J, Graham S, Mettlin C, Shedd D, Swanson M (1982) Diet in the epidemiology of oral cancer. Nutr cancer: 3:145–149PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Martin SA, Marks JE, Lee JY, Bauer WL, Ogura JH (1980) Carcinoma of the piriform sinus: predictors of TMN relapse and survival. Cancer 46:1974–1981PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McGavran MH, Bauer WC, Ogura JH (1961) The incidence of cervical lymph node metastases from epidermoid carcinoma of the larynx and their relationship to certain characteristics of the primary tumor. Cancer 14: 55–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McKay EW, Hanson MR, Miller RW (1982) Cancer mortality in the United States: 1950-1979, In: National Cancer Institute Mongraph No. 59 (US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC)Google Scholar
  27. McMichael AJ (1978) Increases in laryngeal cancer in Britain and Australia in relation to alcohol and tobacco consumption trends. Lancet 1:1244–1247PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mendenhall WM, Parsons JT, Million RR, Cassisi NJ, Devine JW, Greenburg BD (1984) A favorable subset of AJCC stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 10:1841–1843PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Merino OR, Lindberg RD, Fletcher GH (1977) An analysis of distant metastases from squamous cell carcinomas of the upper respiratory and digestive tracts. Cancer 40: 145–151PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Poleksic S, Kalwaic HJ (1978) Prognostic value of vascular invasion in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Plast Reconstr Surg 61: 234–240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reddy CR (1974) Carcinoma of hard palate in India in relation to reverse smoking of chuttas. J Natl Cancer Inst 53: 615–619PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Redmond CK, Sass RE, Roush GC (1982) Nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses In: Schotlenfelt D, Fraumeni JF (eds) Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Saunders, Philadelphia, 519–535Google Scholar
  33. Rollo J, Rozenbom CV, Thawley S, Korba A, Ogura J, Perez CA, Powers WE, Bauer WC (1981) Squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue: a clinicopathologic study of 81 cases. Cancer 43: 333–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rothman KJ, Cann CI, Flanders D, Fried MP (1980) Epidemiology of laryngeal cancer. Epidemiol Rev 2:195–209PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Shore RE, Woodward ED, Hemplemann LH (1984) Radiation inducted thyroid cancer In: Boice JD, Fraumeni JF (eds) Radiation Carcinogenesis: Epidemiology and Biological Significance. Raven, New York, 131–138Google Scholar
  36. Silverberg E, Lubera J (1987) Cancer Statistics, 1987. Ca – A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 37: 2–19PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Simons MJ, Day NE (1977) Histocompatibility leukocyte antigen patterns and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 47:143–146PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Wahner HW, Cuello C, Correa P, Uribe LF, Gaitan E (1966) Thyroid carcinoma in an endemic goiter area, Cali, Columbia. Am J Med 40: 58–66Google Scholar
  39. Waterhouse J, Muir CS, Correa P (1976) Cancer incidence in five continents, III. Lyon, IARC Scientific Publications No 15Google Scholar
  40. Weaver A, Fleming SM, Smith DP (1979) Mouthwash and oral cancer: carcinogen or coincidence? J Oral Surg 37: 250–253PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Winn DM, Blot WJ, Shy CM, Pickle LW, Toledo A, Fraumeni Jr JF (1981) Snuff dipping and oral cancer among women in the southern United States. N Engl J Med 304: 745–749PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wolman SR (1984) Cytogenetics and cancer. Arch Pathol Lab Med 108:15–19PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Wynder EL, Kabat G, Rosenberg S, Levenstein M (1983) Oral cancer and mouthwash use. J Natl Cancer Inst 70: 255–260PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Yamamoto E, Kohama G, Sunakawa H, Iwai M, Hiratsuka H (1983) Mode of invasion, bleomycin sensitivity and clinical course in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity. Cancer 51:2175–2180PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • George E. Laramore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation Oncology, RC-08University Hospital, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations