Many different cancers can occur in the head and neck area. This area is made up of many different parts such as organs, tissues, skin, bones and glands. Head and neck cancers can develop in the:
- mouth and lips
- throat and voice box
- thyroid and saliva glands.
Most head and neck cancers start in the lining (called squamous epithelium) that covers the inside of the mouth, nose, throat or voice box. These cancers start in the squamous cell(s) of the epithelium (lining) and are called ‘squamous cell carcinomas’.
Cancer of the mouth can affect any of the following:
- buccal mucosa (lining of the mouth)
- hard palate (roof of your mouth).
Cancer of the throat can affect any of the following:
- oropharynx area (tonsils, back (base) of tongue and/or soft palate at back of mouth)
- glottis (voice box)
- supraglottis (just above the voice box)
- hypopharynx (just behind the voice box).
Cancer of the nose can affect any of the following:
- sinuses (air spaces in the bones around the nose area of the face)
- the space behind your nose
- the nasopharynx.
Our head and neck experts also successfully treat and manage cancers that arise in:
- the parotid glands (major saliva glands on each side of the face)
- submandibular salivary glands (found beneath each side of the lower jaw)
- thyroid gland.