Head and Neck Cancers
Benign and Cancerous Tumors of the Ears, Nose, Mouth, and Throat
Effective treatment of cancerous and noncancerous tumors in or near the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat requires the increased level of precision and skill found only in doctors trained to work in the hard-to-reach confines of the head and neck. That expertise is especially important because head and neck cancers can affect your appearance, as well as your ability to breathe, hear, see, smell, eat and talk. Duke’s head and neck experts are trained in many different specialties. Working together, we provide prompt, effective treatment that minimizes the impact of your type of head and neck cancer on your surrounding healthy areas. Our goal is to maintain your appearance, as well as your function, so you can return to the activities you enjoy.
A Personalized Approach to Your Head and Neck Cancer Treatment
Our treatment recommendations are personalized and dependent on the stage and type of your cancer.
- This may include access to new therapies through ongoing clinical trials.
- We may use minimally invasive procedures or robotically assisted surgery to remove tumors. These procedures require smaller incisions, which can reduce scarring associated with some head and neck cancer surgeries. Minimally invasive procedures also help you return home and heal faster than traditional open surgeries.
- Our individualized approach to your treatment also involves minimizing the many different functional and cosmetic concerns that can be associated with head and neck cancers.
- We are constantly evaluating the latest research to determine the best treatment recommendations for your care.
We try to make your treatment plan as convenient as possible.
- We coordinate your appointments with the different specialists involved in your care.
- Our locations in Durham and Raleigh make it possible for you to see a head and neck cancer specialist close to where you work or live.
Your Team of Head and Neck Cancer Specialists
Depending on your needs, your team of head and neck experts may include the following specialists:
- Otolaryngologists, neurosurgeons, oral surgeons, dentists and reconstructive plastic surgeons. They use advanced surgical techniques including laser and robotic surgery to restore your function and preserve your appearance.
- Medical and radiation oncologists oversee chemotherapy and targeted radiation therapy when it is part of your treatment plan.
- Speech pathologists, voice, and occupational therapists may help you maintain or regain your ability to talk, eat, swallow and other functions important to daily living.
- Social workers, psychologists, and palliative care experts help you cope with the emotional and psychological effects often associated with cancer.
- Physical therapists and cancer nutritionists help you maintain your strength and stamina through exercise and good eating habits.