H&N cancer while rarely discussed, is extremely common with more than 650.000 cases and 330.000 deaths in a year. These cancers include tumors of the larynx, throat, lips, mouth, nose, and salivary glands; – they are cancers you can actually see, and often include severe disfigurement.
As the causes of Head & Neck cancer are often related to tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and exposure to human papillomavirus, these people often feel stigmatized, regardless if their physical appearance has been negatively impacted. However, with the recently announced case of throat cancer of Academy Award winning actor Michael Douglass, the time to move Head and Neck cancer out from obscurity is now.
Why does Head and Neck cancer occur? Do H&N cancer patients feel stigmatized? And what should be done to better treat both the physical and psychological impacts of the disease across Europe?