Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer

Beyond Five is Australia’s only not for profit organisation supporting people affected by head and neck cancer. In Australia nearly 5,000 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year and more than 17,000 people are living with the side effects of treatment.

Head and neck cancer is incredibly complex and diverse. It includes more than 10 different cancers that can affect a person’s mouth, tongue, salivary glands, skin or voice box. Each type comes with its own causes, symptoms, characteristics, complexities and treatment options.

One of the most common causes of head and neck cancer is smoking and alcohol which affects areas like the mouth, throat and voice box. However, today in Australia, many head and neck cancers are due to other causes. For example, the human papilloma virus is the most common cause of tonsil cancer, which is rapidly increasing in incidence. Skin cancers on the face are mainly due to sun exposure and may extend to the eyes, ears, nose and salivary glands. For many other head and neck cancers, such as thyroid cancer, the cause is unknown.

The name 'Beyond Five' refers to the long-term support that patients with different types of head and neck cancer often need, which is more than five years after they are diagnosed.

Beyond Five's mission is to improve the quality of life of everyone affected by head and neck cancer through education and access to support and to raise awareness of head and neck cancer nationally.

Recommended links

Last reviewed: September 2019

Information from this partner

Found 48 results

Beyond Five - Treatment options

Your cancercare team will discuss the treatment options available for treatingcancer of the unknown primary

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - Facial Prosthetics

What is a facial prosthesis? Prostheses are artificial appliances designed to restore a missing part of the body that cannot be reconstructed or repaired surgically

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - What's involved?

There are no rules about what caring for someone with cancer involves

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) refers to a group of more than 150 related viruses

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - Signs and symptoms

Head and neck cancer can cause different symptoms depending on:Sometimes people do not have any signs or symptoms and sometimes the same symptoms can be caused by other things

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - Looking after yourself

Being a caregiver can be hard, both physically and emotionally

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - Supportive care

What type of cancer you haveWhat your cancer might causeWhat you can do to cope with late effectsWhat services can help

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - Financial assistance

The costs relating to cancer, such as treatment costs and loss of income, can add stress

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - Personal stories

Scroll through the photos above to listen and read about some patients and carers sharing their experience with head and neck cancer

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Beyond Five - What is nasopharyngeal cancer?

Cancer Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal,grow uncontrollably and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body

Read more on Beyond Five - The Face of Head and Neck Cancer website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo