Head and Neck Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with 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% of all cancers in the United States. This year, an estimated 59,340 people (43,390 men and 15,950 women) will develop head and neck cancer. It is estimated that 12,290 deaths (8,900 men and 3,390 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 found. 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, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. 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 2015 and the National Cancer Institute.

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and Prevention. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing this type of cancer and ways to help reduce your risk. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.