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Facts About Head and Neck Cancers

The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States, approximately 3-5 percent of all cancers will be in the head and neck region. In 2016, an estimated 61,760 people (45,330 men and 16,430 women) will develop head and neck cancer. It is estimated that 13,190 deaths (9,800 men and 3,390 women) will occur this year. These tumors can begin anywhere in the head and neck region. Treatment options are based on where a head and neck cancer starts (e.g. tongue vs. throat) because each tumor site responds to treatment type in different ways. The main two forms of treatment that can cure head and neck cancers are either radiation therapy or surgery. Sometimes, chemotherapy and/or targeted systemic therapy will be used together with radiation therapy to improve the chance that the cancer will not come back or spread to other parts of the body.


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