Raising awareness for cancer in the Head & Neck region

Head & Neck cancer is the seventh most common type of cancer in Europe[1]. Head & Neck cancer includes o.a. Oral Cavity Cancer. More than 75% of the population is unfamiliar with the disease and its symptoms, leading to late-stage diagnosis1. The survival rate is poor, less than 50% of the patients are alive after 5 years.

Risk Factors

Men are 2-3 times more likely to develop head and neck cancer than women. Factors that contribute to an increased risk of cancer in the Head & Neck region are:

Smoking: Smokers have a higher risk than non-smokers. A person who smokes will be 15 times more likely to develop head and neck cancer than a non-smoker.

Alcohol: Men who consume more than three units and women who consume more than two units of alcohol per day are at a significantly higher risk of developing head and neck cancer.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Associated with causing a number of head and neck cancers; it can cause cancers of the throat, tongue and tonsils, otherwise known as oropharyngeal cancers (OPSCC).


To make people aware of the symptoms, the ‘1for3’ definition was developed by leading experts in head and neck cancer across Europe. The definition guides patients & primary practitioners when to seek medical advice from a Head & Neck specialist.

If one (1) of the following symptoms are present for more than 3 weeks, consult a specialist.

[1] https://makesensecampaign.eu/en/cancer-information/head-neck-cancer/