Each year, more than 500.000 cases of head and neck cancer (HNC) occur worldwide. More than half of these are oral cavity cancers, while the rest comprises pharyngeal and laryngeal cancers (Figure 1). The vast majority (~90%) of HNC diagnoses are squamous cell carcinomas, originating from the epithelium. HNC can be divided into three clinical stages: early, locoregionally advanced and metastatic, of which more than 50% belongs to the second category. Metastases are seen in the lymph nodes of the neck, and are often the first sign of the disease. Morbidity rates are close to 25% but are highly dependent on staging. Early detection exponentially increases the chance of curing. Alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking and human papillomavirus infection are the most important risk factors (alcohol and tobacco accounting for 75% of HNCs).

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E.B. Wolvius (Eppo) , K.G.H. van der Wal (Karel) , J.A.M. Braks (Joanna)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Fonds Nuts Ohra (Grants 0801-77 and 1101-018), Stichting BOOA van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Mondziekten en Kaakchirurgie, Erasmus University Rotterdam, ABN-AMRO
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Spiegelberg, L. (2015, January 7). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the prevention of radiation-induced tissue injury in the head and neck region.. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/77317