Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Head and Neck Cancer

  • Guanning N. Lu
  • Kiran Kakarala
  • Sufi M. Thomas
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_6705-1


Head and neck cancer (HNC) encompasses any cancerous/malignant growth in the head or neck region extending to the level of the clavicles inferiorly and generally excluding intracranial and spinal cancers. The vast majority of HNC is caused by squamous cell carcinoma, and this will be the focus of our discussion keeping in mind that many other tumor types exist.


The diversity of tissues in the head and neck anatomic region results in a broad range of tumor types and conditions. Head and neck cancers are classified based on their anatomic location and histopathologic tumor type, and squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 90–95 %.


Head and neck cancers are the fifth most common cancer type and cause for cancer-related deaths and affect approximately 500,000–600,000 people per year worldwide. Incidence varies depending on the geographic location likely due to the prevalence of risk factors and ethnic and genetic differences among populations. For...


Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Human Papilloma Virus Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Gene Transoral Laser Microsurgery 
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.
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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Kansas Medical Center, and University of Kansas Cancer Center’s CCSG (1-P30-CA168524-02) were the funding sources.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guanning N. Lu
    • 1
  • Kiran Kakarala
    • 1
  • Sufi M. Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Cancer BiologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Anatomy and Cell BiologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA