Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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Epidemiology and Etiology

Head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) includes carcinoma of the lip, oral cavity, oropharynx, nasopharynx, and larynx. It is estimated that approximately 53,260 patients in the US will be diagnosed with HNSCC in the year 2020.1 Tobacco use and alcohol consumption are associated with increased risk of developing HNSCC. HPV infection is implicated in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas, and the incidence of HPV-associated HNSCC is increasing. EBV infection is associated with nasopharyngeal cancers. Given the diffuse nature of mucosal exposure to tobacco smoke or smokeless tobacco, the primary cancer site is often surrounded by areas of premalignant lesions such as carcinoma in situ and dysplasia. For this reason, patients with tobacco-associated HNSCC are at increased risk for secondary HNSCCs.

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Epidemiology and Etiology

Head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) includes carcinoma of the lip, oral cavity, oropharynx, nasopharynx, and larynx. It is estimated that approximately 53,260 patients in the US will be diagnosed with HNSCC in the year 2020.1 Tobacco use and alcohol consumption are associated with increased risk of developing HNSCC. HPV infection is implicated in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas, and the incidence of HPV-associated HNSCC is increasing. EBV infection is associated with nasopharyngeal cancers. Given the diffuse nature of mucosal exposure to tobacco smoke or smokeless tobacco, the primary cancer site is often surrounded by areas of premalignant lesions such as carcinoma in situ and dysplasia. For this reason, patients with tobacco-associated HNSCC are at increased risk for secondary HNSCCs.

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