Head and neck cancer occurs when malignant tumours grow in any of the tissue in the head or neck. Not all tumours in the head and neck are malignant, but benign and malignant tumours are treated in a similar way.
Mouth or oral cancer - includes cancer that starts anywhere in the mouth, such as the lips, inside cheeks, the front two-thirds of the tongue and the gums.
About 490 people in Victoria are diagnosed with a type of head and neck cancer each year.
$170,000 has been given to fund research specifically into head and neck cancer.
In addition, more than $16.2 million has been spent on research projects looking into the detection and treatment of all tumour types (including head and neck).
Overall, Cancer Council Victoria has funded $69 million worth of lab-based research in Victorian hospitals, universities and research institutions since 2003.