In their 2009 press report the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) of the Netherlands states that in 2008 cancer exceeded cardiovascular mortality for the first time in history. This ranks cancer with about 29% of all deaths as the number one cause of death in the Netherlands (webmagazine 03 February 2009). It is anticipated that in the next two decades the incidence of malignant tumors will even further increase, annually by 1 to 1,5%. With regard to the incidence of malignant tumors typically seen in the department of radiotherapy, an increase in incidence was seen for the southwestern part of the Netherlands of about 5%, mainly due to the increase in treatment options with radiotherapy (more indications and better treatment per indication). Of the newly diagnosed malignancies in the Netherlands, cancer in the head and neck region has an incidence of around 4%, with a male to female ratio of 6 to 1. Annually, approximately 2000 people develop a tumor in the head and neck, with 600 patients dying of this disease.

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P.C. Levendag (Peter)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nijdam, W. (2009, December 16). Treatment Modalities, Quality of Life and Costs in Head and Neck Cancer: A quest for prioritization. Retrieved from