Head and Neck Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suspect you have a head and neck tumor, or your doctor has confirmed your diagnosis, you are looking for the right team of cancer experts to provide hope and practical approaches for treatment.
At the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health, our multidisciplinary team of head and neck cancer experts treats more than 300 patients yearly with head and neck cancers or tumors. Patients come to us from all over to participate in our advanced clinical trials, to try radiation therapy again if their current physicians have told them that it is useless, or to take advantage of our expertise in robotic surgery, microvascular reconstruction free-flaps and skull base surgery.
Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosis
The most important part of head and neck cancer diagnosis is imaging, as not all tumors can be reached during surgery for a biopsy. At Wake Forest, our radiologists are experts in examining imaging of tumors and masses of the head and neck. Learn more about head and neck cancer diagnosis at Wake Forest.
Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer
After you receive a definitive diagnosis, every member of our team will meet with you and review your records. This includes a head and neck surgeon, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist.
Then our tumor board (a weekly meeting of head and neck cancer experts, including physicians, nutritionists and swallowing therapists) will meet to discuss a personalized treatment plan that is right for you. Once the tumor board agrees, we will present you with a final treatment plan. Treatments usually include:
Your treatment and/or combination of treatments will depend on the size of the tumor(s), shape, where it is growing, how fast it is growing and what other structures of the head and neck it may be affecting.
In treating more than 300 patients with head and neck cancer every year, we have learned a lot about how cancer treatments can affect quality of life. To this end, we have established The Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Program to provide additional guidance and support to head and neck cancer patients following treatment.