What is head and neck cancer and why is it different?
Head and neck cancer (HNC) is not just one type of cancer. It includes more than 10 different cancers that can affect a person’s mouth, tongue, throat, salivary glands, skin or voice box.
The treatment for HNC can be brutal as it affects a person’s identity unlike any other cancer. It can leave a person unable to speak, with devastating facial disfigurements and take away basic abilities that we take for granted like eating, breathing, speaking, drinking and swallowing.
• There has been a 34% increase in head and neck cancer in the last 10 years.
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are disproportionately impacted with a 30% gap in survival rates compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
• 70% of tonsil and base tongue cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus.
• There has been a 385% increase in tongue cancer for otherwise healthy young women.
• Men are three times more likely than women to be diagnosed.
Head and Neck Cancer Australia is the only Australian charity dedicated to providing education and support to people living with HNC. It was founded by a team of leading clinicians who saw first-hand the profound impact of head and neck cancer and were passionate about driving change.
Their personal commitment to Head and Neck Cancer Australia has resulted in a unique collaboration of patients, family members, carers and clinicians working to educate, support and reduce the cancer burden in some of the most disenfranchised cancer patients. We remain committed to working collaboratively with all head and neck cancer specialties and patients and carers across Australia to achieve our mission.
World Head and Neck Cancer Day is on 27 July.
Disclaimer: This article was provided by Head and Neck Cancer Australia. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.