In 2013, 4409 new cases of head and neck cancer were diagnosed in Australia, accounting for 3.4% of all cancers diagnosed. 50 The incidence is highest in men, with 3174 of the new cases in men and 1234 in women.2 The most common forms of head and neck cancers in 2013 were:48
- lip (1047 cases)
- tongue (820 cases).
In 2013, the risk of developing lip and tongue cancer before the age of 85 was 1 in 199 and 1 in 263 respectively.48
In 2013, the mean age at diagnosis with tongue cancer was 62.8 years and with lip cancer it was 63.7 years.49 The risk of being diagnosed with head and neck cancer increases with age. Whilst the number of head and neck cancers is expected to continue rising for both males and females due to the ageing of the Australian population, of the more common forms of head and neck cancer (lip, tongue and larynx), incidence and mortality rates have decreased or remained fairly stable.1, 11, 12
In 2014, head and neck cancer was the 15th leading cause of cancer death in Australia. In 2014, there were 1,040 deaths from head and neck cancer in Australia (766 males and 274 females). The number of deaths from head and neck cancer increased from 517 (374 males and 143 females) in 1968 to 1,040 in 2014. 50
In 2009–2013, individuals diagnosed with head and neck cancer had a 69% chance (68% for males and 72% for females) of surviving for 5 years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population. 50
Between 1984–1988 and 2009–2013, 5-year relative survival from head and neck cancer improved from 61% to 69%. 50
Access the document Head and neck cancers in Australia (2014)(PDF, 1.66MB)2 and, for one type of head and neck cancer, compile information on the following:
- Incidence, mortality and survival trends.
- Relative five and ten year survival rates.
- Factors associated with survival.