The prevalence of the disease in Jersey is being blamed on high levels of smoking and the Island’s long-standing problems with alcohol abuse.
Figures released to the JEP show that cases of the cancers, which often have a very poor survival rate, are almost twice as high as in the south-west of England and similar to those seen in Scotland, where cancer rates have traditionally been high.
Dr Susan Turnbull, Jersey’s Deputy Medical Officer of Health, said: ‘We have a similar rate of head and neck cancers to the most deprived areas of the UK, where levels of smoking and drinking are known to be high.
‘It has been recognised that levels of alcohol consumption in Jersey have been much higher than the European average for some time. It seems that the high levels of head and neck cancer is a legacy of too much smoking and too much drinking.’