• Larynx (including the supraglottis, glottis, and subglottis)
• Oral cavity (tongue, floor of mouth, hard palate, buccal mucosa, and alveolar ridges) • Oropharynx (posterior and lateral pharyngeal walls, base of tongue, tonsils, and soft palate) Less common sites include the nasopharynx, nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, hypopharynx, and salivary glands. Other sites of head and neck tumors are • Intracranial tumors in adults and children
• Thyroid cancers
• Tumors of the orbit and cancers affecting the retina
• Acoustic neuromas
• Skin cancers
The incidence of head and neck cancer increases with age. Although most patients are between age 50 to 70 years, the incidence in younger patients is increasing, related to cancers (primarily oropharyngeal) caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Head and neck cancer is more common among men than women at least in part because male smokers continue to outnumber female smokers and because oral HPV infection is more frequent in males.