Head and neck cancers represent a wide range of possible tumor sites including the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses and mouth and salivary glands. The majority of head and neck cancers are considered squamous cell carcinomas, tumors that begin in the cells that form the inner lining of the head and neck. Although most squamous carcinomas have been associated with tobacco use, an increasingly significant number occur in patients without a history of tobacco use. Our head and neck cancer team provides immediate referral for:
- A sore throat that does not heal or a growth in the mouth/tongue that persists.
- Blood in saliva or phlegm for several days.
- Nasal problems such as bloody discharge, obstruction or chronic sinus trouble.
- Pain when swallowing, especially if radiating to the ear.
- Unexplained mass of swelling in the neck or jaw.
- Ulceration or other lesions of the mouth or tongue.
At Guthrie we treat these cancers using a team approach to care and advanced surgical techniques from experienced fellowship-trained surgeons. Our cancer care begins with a multidisciplinary collaborative evaluation from otolaryngology, oncology, plastic and reconstructive surgery and oral surgery. We have experience in advanced head and neck cancer treatment techniques including:
- Imaging techniques including high resolution ultrasound, interventional radiology and computed tomographic mapping for stereotactic treatment and PET for staging and restaging or tumors.
- Endoscopic surgery for tumors of the larynx and pharynx.
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy.
- Organ preserving surgery for aerodigestive tract tumors.