Cancer of the tonsil is one of the head and neck cancers. It develops in the part of the throat just behind your mouth, called the oropharynx (pronounced oar-o-far-rinks). The main risk factors for developing this type of cancer are smoking and regularly drinking a lot of alcohol. If you smoke and drink a lot together, you increase your risk even further.Traditionally, the known risk factors for tonsil cancer are tobacco and alcohol use, but now there seems to be an increased rate of tonsil cancer in patients who don't smoke or drink. There is some evidence that it's related to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
In 2011, 3,121 head and neck cancers were diagnosed in Australia. These figures include cancers of the tongue, gum, mouth, salivary glands, tonsils, pharynx, nasal cavity and larynx, but not cancers of the lip. In 2012, there were 973 deaths in Australia due to head and neck cancers. Radiation makes the muscles in the neck tight and fibrous. It's very important for patients to see a speech pathologist before they begin treatment to learn stretching and strengthening exercises to help them maintain their swallowing function. New techniques introduced to reduce complications, making Tonsil cancer a safer operation for more people than ever before.