Tumors in the head and neck can be some of the most challenging tumors to treat. Their precarious locations are often difficult to access surgically without risking cosmetic or functional damage to the surrounding facial and sensory structures. The Duke Cancer Institute’s team of head and neck surgeons collaborates with existing experts in radiation and chemotherapy at Duke Raleigh to provide a multidisciplinary, comprehensive treatment approach that preserves function and improves outcomes.
“Treating head and neck tumors is never one-size-fits-all,” Dr. Esclamado says. “A cancer of the voice box is different from a thyroid tumor or a salivary gland tumor. Achieving the ideal outcome often requires a group of different specialists working together to develop the most effective treatment plan and deliver the best care tailored to individual patients.”
In addition to radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery, the head and neck cancer program at Duke Raleigh also includes speech pathology for follow-up care after surgery. These specialists provide speech and swallowing therapy and voice rehabilitation to help restore function that is impaired as a consequence of treating the cancer.