Epidemiology of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma not related to tobacco or alcohol

Curr Opin Oncol. 2013 May;25(3):229-34. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e32835ff48c.


Purpose of review: This review intends to present some epidemiological findings regarding the epidemiology of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma not related to alcohol or tobacco (HNSCCNAT).

Recent findings: Twenty-five percent of squamous cell carcinomas of head and neck are not related to tobacco or alcohol consumption. The risk factors for this group of malignancies are not very well established yet. HNSCCNAT are more likely to occur in the oropharynx. The diagnosis is more frequent at young age (before 50). The prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV-positive) infection is high.

Summary: Monitoring HPV status in head and neck cancer patients who are not tobacco or alcohol consumers will enable physicians to better plan treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck