Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a heterogeneous group of malignant neoplasms, and its classification is a challenge. Based on the primary site, most literature comprehends five types of HNCs: laryngeal, pharyngeal, oral cavity, nasal cavity, and salivary gland cancer. More than 90% of HCNs are of epithelial origin, making squamous cell carcinoma the most common histological type. The prototypic HNC is a moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma associated with tobacco and alcohol consumption that affects older men more frequently. They are usually treated in a similar fashion. Currently, the human papillomavirus epidemic and a shift in tobacco consumption patterns are changing this trend. HNCs have a high rate of genetic heterogeneity, and molecular profiling has gained importance in the classification and future treatment of HNCs.
Keywords: HPV-positive, Laryngeal cancer, Molecular profile, Nasal cavity cancer, Oral cavity cancer, Pharyngeal cancer, Salivary gland cancer, Squamous cell carcinoma, Unknown primary.