This section of our website brings together a range of information resources for people affected by head and neck cancer.
You may also find the following links helpful:
Head and neck cancer is a relatively uncommon type of cancer, around 10,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.
There are more than 30 areas within the head and neck where cancer can develop, including the:
- mouth and lips
- voice box (larynx)
- throat (pharynx)
- salivary glands
- nose and sinuses
- area at the back of the nose and mouth (nasopharynx)
The Oral, Head and Neck Cancer leaflet provides more background information to oral and head and neck cancer, what to expect, the treatments available and who is involved in diagnosing and treating head and neck cancers.
There are three major risk factors for head and neck cancer in the UK:
- Tobacco smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) - read the Throat Cancer Foundation leaflet on HPV and Throat Cancer
Support to quit smoking is available through NHS Stop Smoking Services, and local alcohol services can also provide support.
Rob Husband is a head and neck cancer survivor and one of the Alliance Cancer SMART Champions.
Rob shares his cancer survival story in an episode of the You CANCERvive podcast, with reflections on his past decisions and lessons learned from his diagnosis.
A miraculous journey of defeating cancer and Rob almost losing his voice to truly find his voice.
Head and Neck Specialist Support Team
Each hospital has a team of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals (dieticians, speech and language therapists), admin and managerial staff, all dedicated to looking after patients from diagnosis, through to treatment and long-term after-care.
A Cancer Nurse Specialist (CNS) provides practical and emotional support for patients throughout their cancer journey from diagnosis onwards and is their key point of contact.
Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and systemic (drug therapies that work throughout the whole of the body), or a combination of these treatments.
Specialist hospital services
Sometimes the specialist services a patient needs may be provided at another hospital in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. For example, all radiotherapy is provided at St James’ Hospital in Leeds. Surgery may take place at Bradford or Leeds and chemotherapy at your local hospital.
The following links provide further head and neck cancer information and support:
Click on the links below to access additional online resources:
- British Association of Head and Neck Oncology
- British Association of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ENT UK)
- Cancer Research UK – Head and neck cancers
- Changing Faces - Visible Difference and Disfigurement Charity
- Let’s Face It - support network for people with facial disfigurement, and links to other charities and support groups
- Macmillan – Head and neck cancers
- Maggie's Centre, Leeds
- Mouth Cancer Foundation
- National Association of Laryngectomee Clubs
- Throat Cancer Foundation
You may be interested to know that:
Cancer Research UK provides a facility to search for clinical trials. Clinical trials are medical research studies involving people.
The Head and Neck database listing evidence on quality of life (HaNDLE on QOL), is a unique online searchable database of all papers published from 1982 to present on quality of life in head and neck cancer that have used questionnaires.