When caught early, head and neck cancer is highly curable, often with surgery, radiation, or a combination of the two. But the therapies are often complex, and the cancers are found in bone, skin and soft tissue, requiring the knowledge of top doctors to provide the best treatment.
At MedStar Health, our skilled specialists work as a team and provide a full range of therapies, including promising clinical trials. They provide a plan tailored to your individual condition and needs—one that not only treats the cancer but also limits the impact on your appearance and your ability to swallow, breathe, eat and talk.
We have the capability to handle complex cases, and welcome the chance to help you with an initial diagnosis or provide a second opinion.
Head and Neck Cancer Care
Our program offers:
- Experienced Team: We treat the largest volume of head and neck cancers in the metro area, with particular expertise in rare salivary gland tumors and cancer tied to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Our nationally recognized specialists work closely together, meeting each week in a tumor board to thoroughly discuss new cases and make the best recommendations. Our team includes:
- Medical oncologists
- Otolaryngologists - Head and Neck Surgeon (ear, nose and throat doctors, or ENTs)
- Radiation oncologists
- Reconstructive and plastic surgeons
- Plastic surgeons
- Balanced Approach: When it comes to the latest tools and techniques, we only adopt those that deliver better care—we don’t heedlessly chase technology. We also don’t push surgery—sometimes it’s the best approach and sometimes it’s not. That said, we are actively involved in head and neck cancer research and offer:
- Clinical trials, with a streamlined enrollment process and immunotherapy studies that draw patients from around the country
- Minimally invasive surgeries, including robotic-assisted approaches
- Tumor sequencing, to identify specific genetic changes and possible treatments
- CyberKnife, a laser-like radiation therapy system that gives patients more options
- Nerve monitoring, to protect key functions during surgery
- Quality of Life Focus: While treating cancer is our goal, we also work to limit the impact of therapy on your breathing, eating, swallowing and talking. We do this by:
- Taking the unusual step of including therapists in our tumor boards, to prevent problems when possible and plan for any potential rehab right away
- Offering a full range of services, including nutritionists specializing in oncology and therapists for speaking, swallowing, physical health and work and home needs
- Providing top reconstruction and plastic surgery, including the ability to rebuild the tongue or jaw and restore the voice after voice box (larynx) surgery