Epidemiology of Head and Neck Cancer

Eleni Rettig, Gypsyamber D'Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


This article discusses risk factors, incidence trends, and prognostic considerations for head and neck cancer (HNC). The primary causes of HNC are tobacco and alcohol use, and human papillomavirus (HPV). Tobacco-related HNC incidence rates are decreasing in countries where tobacco use has declined. HPV-HNC, which occurs primarily in the oropharynx and is associated with sexual behaviors, has been increasing over the past several decades, among white men in particular. The prognosis for HNC overall has improved slightly since the 1990s, and is influenced by site, stage, and HPV status. Prognosis for HPV-HNC is significantly better than for HPV-negative disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-396
Number of pages18
JournalSurgical Oncology Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Alcohol
  • Epidemiology
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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