Head and Neck Cancer: Statistics

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have this type of cancer each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Head and neck cancer accounts for about 3% to 5% of all cancers in the United States. This year, an estimated 55,070 people (40,220 men and 14,850 women) will develop head and neck cancer. It is estimated that 12,000 deaths (8,600 men and 3,400 women) will occur this year.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases. The five year survival rate of people with head and neck cancer varies and depends on several factors. Check the individual section describing a specific type of head and neck cancer for more information about survival statistics (see the Overview for a complete list).

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with head and neck cancer. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society’s publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2014.

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