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History & Aims

The association was first constituted in 1967 as the Association of Head and Neck Oncologists of Great Britain. The stimulus for its formation was the need to encourage discussion and the sharing of knowledge between the various clinical and research specialties involved in the management of head and neck cancer.

Head and neck cancer is the generic term used for a group of malignant tumours that affect areas such as the face, mouth, jaws, sinuses, throat, larynx, salivary glands, thyroid gland and neck. Treatment is often complex and requires the cooperation of a number of medical, paramedical and nursing specialists. It is the sixth most common cancer in the world. Within the UK around 11,700 new head and neck cancers are reported per year (i.e. 32 per day). Their frequency and incidence is continually increasing with a 31% increase since the early 1990s and around 3,900 deaths in the UK every year (i.e. 11 per day) (Cancer Research, UK).

In 1995 our name was changed to the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists (BAHNO). Although we have strong links with the relevant individual medical and paramedical specialty associations, we are the only multi-disciplinary professional group which can speak for the interests of head and neck cancer clinicians and patients in the UK. We pursue our aims chiefly by holding regular scientific meetings and have produced important publications relating to the organisation of head and neck cancer services in the United Kingdom.

BAHNO is affiliated to the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS).

Membership of BAHNO is open to all specialists with a major interest in head and neck oncology.

Our members are principally:

  • Otorhinolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat surgeons)
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (mouth, jaw and face surgeons)
  • Plastic surgeons
  • Pathologists
  • Research scientists
  • Clinical oncologists 
  • Therapeutic radiographers
  • Restortive dentists
  • Specialist nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Speech and swallowing therapists

Currently we have approximately 480 members, including a number from overseas. Further details of BAHNO’s aims and activities can be obtained by contacting the Secretariat.