Head and neck cancers: Get the stats

May 7, 2015 | by Robin Heffler

Treatment of cancers of the head and neck requires not just skill, but consummate skill. After all, consider their location: the lip, mouth, tongue, throat and nasal cavity – and that's just for starters.

head and neck cancers treatment Treatment for head and neck cancers is complex. Get the stats on the diseases.

Such treatment can include chemotherapy and radiation, but surgery is often the primary approach, with today's robotic and minimally invasive techniques opening up the door to better outcomes than ever before. The smaller incisions inherent in such surgery mean patients experience less pain, faster recovery and fewer complications.

These minimally invasive techniques are a specialty of City of Hope’s surgeons. In fact, they can treat and remove cancers that in many other places would be considered inoperable. If you've been diagnosed with a cancer of the head and neck, that's the kind of skill you need.

Learn more about one of the surgeons in that program, Robert Kang, M.D., who understands the artistry of surgery (and music), and read about one of his patients, 10-year-old Jackie Garcia, who has a newly reconstructed jaw thanks to his skill.

Then read about City of Hope’s overall head and neck cancer program.

Also, check out these stats, courtesy of the American Cancer Society. They drive home the importance of expertise in head and neck cancers treatment.

Head and neck cancers at a glance

Estimates for new head and neck cancer cases in the United States for 2015:

• Oral cavity (mouth) and oropharyngeal (uppermost part of the throat): 39,500 • Pharynx (entire throat): about 15,520 (12,380 in men and 3,140 in women). • Larynx (voice box): 13,560 (10,720 in men, 2,840 in women)

Age and diagnosis of head and neck cancers:

• Average age at diagnosis: 62 • A little more than one-quarter of cases occur in patients younger than 55. • They are rare in children


• The rate of new cases of laryngeal (voice box) cancer is falling by about 2 to 3 percent a year, most likely because fewer people are smoking. • Throat cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, are on the rise, but the chances of cure and survival are higher than with other tumors.


Learn more about treatment and research of head and neck cancers at City of Hope. 


Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion by visiting our website or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). You may also request a new patient appointment online. City of Hope staff will explain what's required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.

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