2012 HNCA Board TOR

Our mission is to advance prevention, detection, treatment and rehabilitation of oral, head and neck cancer through public awareness, research, advocacy and survivorship.

Through united and collaborative efforts, HNCA provides support to head and neck cancer patients throughout the year, supports ongoing research in head and neck oncology and educates children and adults in the disease process, treatment and prevention of oral, head and neck cancers.

HNCA strives to serve as a One-stop Center for patients, survivors, and family members seeking support and information about head and neck cancer. From the management of symptoms to treatment options to clinical trials, HNCA works in partnership with medical and healthcare partners to provide up-to-date educational information, activities to promote awareness and education, and resources for patients to engage and learn from one another.

Led by a Board of Directors with expertise in head and neck surgery, research, and survivorship, HNCA develops strategic priorities to tackle the challenges facing those impacted by this disease.

If your organization is interested in creating a partnership with the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, we welcome you to contact us at info@headandneck.org



The Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation was created by the late actor after an abnormality was found on his vocal cord in the 1980s. With the combined vision of Yul Brynner and the knowledge and experience of Dr. George Sisson, the Yul Brynner Foundation was incorporated in Chicago in 1984 for the purpose of educating the public about the harmful effects of tobacco and its relationship to mouth and throat cancer.


First medical publications find presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) in oropharyngeal cancer. In the time since, much work has been done to establish correlation; however, causation is harder to prove.


The Association for Head and Neck Cancer Awareness was formed by Terry Day, M.D., in Nashville, Tennessee. The Association and the Yul Brynner Foundation combined efforts, propelling Dr. Day to be elected president of the Yul Brynner Foundation, the position he continues to hold with the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance.


The Yul Brynner Foundation organized and directed an annual Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, an international event designed to further the education of the public and health professionals on this disease.


The awareness week was officially changed to Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®) to help publicize oral, head and neck cancers.


The Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation is officially named the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance.


Gardisil 4 became first FDA approved HPV vaccine for girls and women between 9 and 26, and boys and men between 9 and 21 years of age. More research is underway to establish relationship between HPV and oropharyngeal cancer.

The Yul Brynner Grant, later known as the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance Award, was first awarded during the 15th annual meeting of the Dysphagia Research Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for swallowing research in patients with head and neck cancer.


Smash Cancer®, a tennis tournament fundraiser is created in Wilmington, NC. Proceeds benefit head and neck cancer patients directly by providing $50 gas cards to help with transportation to and from treatments. To date, proceeds exceed $100,000. In November 2015, a second Smash Cancer event will be established in beautiful Charleston, SC.


#OperationOral, a screening and social media campaign aimed at educating a younger generation (18-35 year olds) about the association between the human papilloma virus (HPV) and oral, head and neck cancers began this Summer. Dental students from the Medical University of South Carolina embarked on a cross-country screening tour to teach their generation about the link between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and oropharyngeal cancers, and the importance of yearly screenings and prevention.


HNCA partnered with Stand Up To Cancer®, and three other nonprofits to fund $3.25 million in research grants to find new treatments for head and neck cancers, especially those associated with Fanconi anemia and human papillomavirus (HPV). Read the Full Press Release