Why is tonsil cancer so rare?

Tonsil CA increasing. Tonsil cancer is rare : <0.5% of all cancers but occurs mainly in smokers/drinkers. The number of cases worldwide have been increasing, possibly linked to the hpv-16 virus. Most tonsil cancers are (hnscc) -head/neck squamous cell carcinoma but a minority are lymphomas (tonsils are lymphoid tissue) smokers need a thorough oral exam yearly.