Health conditions

Head and neck cancer

Approximately 630 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancers in Western Australia each year.

Head and neck cancers include cancers of the:

  • lip
  • gum
  • mouth
  • tongue
  • parotid and saliva glands
  • tonsil
  • oropharynx
  • nasopharynx
  • larynx
  • thyroid
  • eye.


Diagnosing a cancer of the head or neck can be a complex process and you may require a number of tests before a diagnosis can be confirmed.

These tests may include:


Treatment is complex and will depend upon the site and extent of the cancer.

You may be required to attend numerous appointments across different hospitals.

A number of treatment options may be discussed with you and your family.

These may include:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • a combination of the above.

Helping you along your cancer journey

The Head and Neck Cancer Nurse Coordination Service is a free statewide service aimed at supporting you and your family through diagnosis and treatment. The specialist head and neck cancer nurse is available to:

  • provide and explain information regarding your diagnosis and treatment
  • liaise and link with other services within the treating hospital and the wider community
  • coordinate your care and appointments
  • act as a central point of contact.

This service is available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

The head and neck cancer nurse coordinator can be contacted on 0400 021 654 or 6457 0855.

More information

  • Cancer Council WA
    Phone: 13 11 20
    Helpline provides counselling and a comprehensive range of information, services and resources. Runs a support group for people affected by face, head and neck cancer.
  • WA Psycho-Oncology Service 
    Phone: 9382 7480
    A clinical psychology service that offers a confidential, free counselling service to patients and families living with cancer.
  • Solaris Care
    Phone: 9346 7630
    Provides counselling and complementary therapies for cancer patients and their families.


WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.