Understanding Head and Neck Cancers
Head and neck cancers, also called head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, usually begin in the squamous cells that line the mucosal surfaces of the head and neck region. Head and neck cancers can form in the oral cavity, throat, voice box, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, the salivary glands and the muscles and nerves in the head and neck.
The global incidence of head and neck cancers have increased considerably over the past decade. Men have been found to be more at risk compared to women. The major risk factors include tobacco and alcohol consumption, however, HPV – the human papilloma virus has emerged as a novel risk factor for these cancers.
We are talking to Dr Patrick Ha, Professor and the Chief of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery at UCSF, to get an in-depth understanding of head and neck cancers, the current standard of care, and differences in prognosis & treatment of HPV positive and HPV negative patients. Joining us on the panel to bring in the patient perspective is head and neck cancer warrior Sean Breininger.