Head and neck cancers include those within the mouth, the nose, and the throat. These are squamous cell cancers also known as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck.
Head and neck cancers are further categorized by the region in which they develop:
Oral Cavity – includes the lips, tongue, gums, the lining inside the cheeks and lips, the floor (bottom) of the mouth under the tongue, the hard palate (bony top of the mouth), and the small area of the gum behind the wisdom teeth].
Pharynx (throat) – including its three parts, the nasopharynx (upper part of the pharynx, behind the nose); the oropharynx (middle part of the pharynx including the soft palate [the back of the mouth], the base of the tongue and the tonsils); and the hypopharynx (the lower part of the pharynx).
Larynx (located below the pharynx, also known as the voicebox) – includes the vocal cords and epiglottis.
Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity – the paranasal sinuses are small hollow spaces in the bones of the head surrounding the nose; the nasal cavity is the hollow space inside the nose.
Salivary glands – are located in the floor of the mouth and near the jawbone. The salivary glands produce saliva.