Head and neck tumors are can arise in the head or neck region (in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat, or larynx. Head and neck cancers are a very diverse group of cancers that can be very challenging in effective treatment due to the complicated anatomy present in this area of the body. Many of them arise as a result of the use of tobacco and alcohol, but can occur as a result of radiation exposure, human papilloma virus (HPV – the virus that causes warts), sun exposure, and other causes. Head and neck cancers account for approximately 3 to 5 percent of all cancers in the United States. These cancers are more common in men and in people over age 50.
Not all head and neck tumors are cancerous and may be less serious conditions.