Head and neck cancer encompasses a variety of malignancies arising from the mouth, throat, sinuses, thyroid, salivary glands, and skin of the face and neck. Treatment can range from surgery or radiation in the earliest stages to a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy for advanced cancers. Curing the cancer is the fundamental priority, coupled with restoring form, function, and quality of life.
At Washington University, our head and neck surgical oncologists provide world-class, compassionate care for head and neck cancer. Since the treatment for these cancers may have wide-ranging effects on the organs of communication and swallowing, a minimally invasive transoral robotic surgery and functionally restorative reconstruction can be considered when possible. Our surgeons work closely with colleagues in radiation oncology and medical oncology in order to provide the highest standard of multidisciplinary head and neck cancer care available.
Following surgery, our dedicated speech and swallowing therapy team helps patients adjust to changes. A survivors’ support group and a dedicated head and neck cancer survivorship clinic is available to lift spirits and help with recovery. Regular cancer checks are scheduled with the doctor for years after completion of treatment.
In addition to clinical excellence, our head and neck cancer research program is leading discoveries in the treatment and prevention of head and neck cancer. This team includes surgeon-scientists, epidemiologists, and cancer biologists working together to find a cure. Our innovative clinical trials offer hope for patients facing difficult diagnoses, and our translational research program offers the potential to quickly transfer the knowledge gained in the laboratory into life-saving therapies.
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From diagnosis to rehabilitation, the complexities of head and neck cancer require the best in team efforts. Surgeons are only the start to optimizing each patient’s treatment and recovery.
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Multidisciplinary treatment is a major reason why the Department of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery at Washington University is recognized as among the best in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
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Washington University offers the latest technological and clinical advances to minimize the side effects of treatment and maximize restoration of function.
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The needs of head and neck cancer survivors are unique. We have excellent clinical and informational services available to meet these needs.
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