Head and neck malignancy is on the rise, where the majority of the tumors are squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Previously, alcohol and tobacco are reported to be the well-established risk factors for HNSCC development. Currently, the HPV driven HNSCC has shown an increase in incidence globally, with oropharyngeal and oral cavity carcinoma predominating at certain geographic locations. HPV associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma commonly occurs in Europe and certain Western countries. They have different biological profiles compared to HPV-negative HNSCC. HPV-positive HNSCC patients have different characteristics and prognosis, which remarkably affect the management of this subset of patients. HPV is a significant inflammatory agent that can promote carcinogenesis via multiple critical mechanisms that are discussed in the chapters. Targeting HPV for future research is a great promising avenue for the discovery of novel screening, diagnostic, and therapeutic targets.
Keywords: Alcohol and tobacco, Chronic inflammation, Head and neck cancer survival, Head and neck carcinoma, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Prognosis, Treatment outcomes.