What Is Head and Neck Cancer?

Tom Thomas, MD, MPH, Head and Neck Surgery, Morristown Medical Center
NEW YORK -- Screening is the critical first line of defense in early detection of Head and Neck cancer.

Dr. Tom Thomas, medical director of head and neck reconstructive and transoral robotic surgery at the hospital's Leonard B. Kahn Head & Neck Cancer Institute, is a nationally recognized expert in this field. He says: "The importance of screening is that you can diagnose the cancer in an early stage, and earlier stages of head and neck cancer are curable."

Knowledge is power, and when it comes to our health, having access to information can mean the difference between life and death. The American Cancer Society, projects that 63,000 new cases of head and neck cancer will be diagnosed in this country in 2017. Atlantic Health System's Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, is leading the way in generating awareness about head and neck cancer by developing outreach programs and offering free oral, head and neck cancer screenings to the communities it serves.

"Head and neck cancer used to be a disease of people in their 60s and 70s, typically found in people who use an excessive amount of tobacco and alcohol. That has shifted significantly to those in their late 30s, 40s and 50s. People are getting cancer from HPV, human papillomavirus, which is a sexually transmitted disease," he explains.

Learn more about Atlantic Health System's head & neck cancer surgery >