Head and Neck Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer includes tumors and malignancies involving the:
- Oral Cavity
- Larynx or Voice Box
- Salivary Glands
- Thyroid/Parathyroid Glands
In our region, the incidence of head and neck tumors is twice the national average, so we feel a special responsibility to stay ahead of the curve in the treatment of these cancers. Our patient volume is among the highest in the Southeast, so we have both the experience and expertise to treat all head and neck cancers.
We have one of the best multidisciplinary teams in the nation. Each new patient is evaluated by the appropriate clinicians (surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists), and a treatment plan is recommended to the patient and referring physician. This multidisciplinary coordination allows for enhanced patient convenience and timing of appointments, as well as closer and more effective physician consultative planning and disease management decisions.
Beyond the surgical team, we include broad-ranging disciplines such as dentistry, nutrition, psychological services, and our world-class cancer patient support.
Active research is being conducted in the areas of tumor biology and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning of head and neck tumors, management of swallowing disorders, and regenerating salivary gland function. Clinical trials are under way in the areas of cancer prevention, cancer treatment and symptom management are offered to our patients with head and neck cancer.
Restoring Patients’ Quality of Life
These cancers can be particularly debilitating for patients, due to inadequate repair of the defect, the loss of salivary gland function, strictures in the esophagus, and the general risk of difficulty eating, swallowing or speaking.
We place a high priority on restoring a patient’s quality of life, and we are proud of our expertise in reconstruction of the affected area. Our state-of-the-art surgical therapy includes skull base surgical techniques as well as microvascular reconstruction of the defect left by the cancer removal. We are continually exploring ways to reconstruct the defect with the patient’s own tissue, without resorting to prosthetics. An example is the use of the temporalis muscle to fill a defect in the palate, which has produced excellent results.
Our Head and Neck Cancer Surgeons
J. Dale Browne, MD, FACS
Christopher A. Sullivan, MD
Joshua D. Waltonen, MD
Appointments: (336) 716-4161