Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck presents a treatment challenge owing to the complexity of the anatomy of the head and neck region. Till recently, tobacco and alcohol were thought to be the main risk factors. Recently, human papilloma virus (HPV) has gained significant attention in the etiology of oropharyngeal cancer. Depending on the location of the tumor, surgery as a primary treatment can be quite debilitating due to cosmetic as well as functional reasons. Nonsurgical (radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy) modalities are preferred as initial treatments of oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx primaries. A multidisciplinary approach is recommended for treatment of these malignancies.
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