July 27 is World Head and Neck Cancer day

“Head and neck carcinoma is now the sixth most common cancer worldwide, with over 500,000 cases and 200,000 head and neck cancer-related deaths globally each year,” says Mr Rajan Patel, MercyAscot Head and Neck Surgeon.

“In New Zealand, cases continue to increase with approximately 576 new cases in 2018. Head and neck cancer typically affects men more than women - particularly those aged 50 and over.

The purpose of World Head and Neck Cancer day is to raise awareness of head and neck cancers amongst the public and health professionals, and help patients access the services they need at an earlier stage of disease.

“There are several risk factors for head and neck carcinoma including UV or sun exposure, smoking, heavy alcohol intake, and human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV exposure is increasing dramatically with a corresponding increase in the incidence of throat cancer - particularly over the last two decades,” says Mr Patel.

“Presenting symptoms and signs associated with head and neck cancer are common, and include a sore throat or a change in voice. However, a very small number of these patients would go on to have a sinister head and neck cancer diagnosis.”

Resources for GPs

The MercyAscot Head and Neck Service has pulled together a range of useful educational resources about head and neck cancer for GPs to use in their clinical setting, which can be found below.

These include webinars, e-learning modules and educational articles to help GPs identify red flag symptoms and know when to urgently refer patients to specialist care.

There is also information about MercyAscot's unique, one-stop diagnostic clinics and innovative, integrated Head and Neck Service. These services are delivered by a team of world-class surgeons who offer a premium, patient-centred, end-to-end service.

View all our services


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One-stop diagnostic clinics for patients with head and neck disorders.

Why choose one of our one-stop clinics?
Our clinics are designed with patients in mind. They provide streamlined services and care, eliminating delays in diagnosis by removing the need for multiple appointments.



A streamlined diagnostic service for neck lumps


A seamless service for all sub-acute traumatic nasal and facial injuries

Salivary Pathology Clinic

A multi-disciplinary team has expertise in the assessment, diagnosis and management of patients with salivary gland disorders.


Meet the head and neck service team

Rajan Patel

Specialty: Head and Neck Surgery

Areas of expertise: Mouth and Skin Cancers|Neck and Facial Surgery|Otorhinolaryngology|Reconstructive Head|Thyroid and Neck Lumps

Mark Izzard

Specialty: Head and Neck Surgery

Areas of expertise: Mouth and Skin Cancers|Neck and Facial Surgery|Otorhinolaryngology|Reconstructive Head|Thyroid and Neck Lumps

Kevin Smith

Specialty: Head and Neck Surgery

Areas of expertise: Head and Neck Surgery|Mouth and Skin Cancers|Otorhinolaryngology|Salivary Gland Pathology|Thyroid and Neck Lumps

Muammar Abu-Serriah

Specialty: Head and Neck Surgery

Areas of expertise: Head and Neck Surgery|Microsurgical Reconstructive Surgery|Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Kim Gear

Specialty: Oral Medicine

Areas of expertise: Diagnosis of premalignant & malignant conditions of the mouth|Dry mouth & salivary gland disorders|Halitosis|Oral presentations of systemic disease infectious diseases of the mouth|Oral ulceration|Salivary Gland Pathology

Belinda Reeves

Specialty: Dietitian

Lou Tjauw

Specialty: Nurse Specialist Surgical Oncology

Contact us

The MercyAscot Head and Neck Service and Neck Lump Clinics are located at the Mercy Specialist Centre in Epsom.
Appointments can be made through the MercyAscot Head and Neck Service.

Contact our Practice Manager for an appointment:
09 630 2920 or 02245 02245
09 630 2923




  1. Head and Neck Cancer landscape in Asia-Pacific. Novotech – The Asia Pacific CRO. 2021. View reference. Accessed July 2021.
  2. Ministry of Health. View reference. Accessed July 2021.