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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes head and neck cancers?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 4


    Dr Kenneth Wong

    Bariatric (Obesity) Surgeon, General Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon

    Dr Ken Wong is a very experienced specialist surgeon focussing on keyhole surgery techniques for gallstones, bowel cancer, hernia and weight loss surgery. He graduated … View Profile

    Head and neck cancers refer to a very large group of cancers. In Australia, I tend to see a lot of skin cancers. These are usually squamous cell cancers. As a general priniciple, anyone that presents with a lump anywhere in the head and neck or there is a skin lesion that changes in shape, size, colour should consult a surgeon for consideration of biopsy and removal. It is thought that sun exposure, radiation and smoking are big causes of head and neck cancers.

    Dr Ken Wong

  • 7


    A/Prof Faruque Riffat

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Faruque Riffat is an Australian trained ENT Head and Neck Surgeon with post FRACS fellowship training in surgery for head and neck cancers, thyroid, salivary … View Profile

    Like any cancer, head and neck cancers have multifactorial causes. In addition to genetic risk factors, the acquired ones are


    -alcohol intake

    -human papilloma virus (HPV)

    HPV which is spread through sexual contact is increasingly being recognised as cause of head and neck cancer in non-smoker. Cancers caused by HPV often have a better prognosis due to improved treatment response and minimally invasive surgical and radiation techniques which can be tailored to the patient.

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