Head and Neck Cancers

Benign and Cancerous Tumors of the Nose, Mouth, Throat and Skull Base

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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 include a variety of specialists trained to work in the hard-to-reach confines of the head and neck. We work together to provide prompt, effective treatment that minimizes the impact of your type of head and neck cancer on surrounding healthy areas. Our goal is to maintain your appearance and function so you can return to the activities you enjoy. 

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

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Duke Head and Neck Cancer Specialists

Your team of head and neck experts may include the following specialists:

Surgeons with Advanced Training in Their Specialties
Otolaryngologists, neurosurgeons, and reconstructive plastic surgeons use advanced surgical techniques, including laser and robotic surgery, to restore your function and preserve your appearance.

Medical and Radiation Oncologists
Oversee chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted radiation therapy when it is part of your treatment plan.

Oral Medicine Specialists
Manage oral health concerns related to cancer and cancer treatments that can contribute to tooth decay, bone deterioration, jaw stiffness, pain, and other problems.

Speech Pathologists, Voice Therapists, and Occupational Therapists
Can help you maintain your ability to talk, eat, and swallow. After cancer treatment, these therapists can help you alleviate jaw stiffness, improve voice strength, explore alternate means of communication if needed, and perform 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.

Why Choose Duke

The Duke Cancer Institute
The Duke Cancer Institute brings together the extensive resources of Duke University, Duke Health, and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. We are committed to making innovative discoveries, developing new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer, and delivering those therapies in a patient- and family-centric way.

Personalized Treatment Recommendations
Our recommendations are tailored to the stage and type of your cancer. 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.

Access to Clinical Trials
You may have access to new therapies through our ongoing clinical trials.

Minimally Invasive Procedures Help You Return Home Sooner and Heal Faster
Removing tumors through minimally invasive procedures and robotically-assisted surgery requires smaller incisions, which can reduce scarring associated with some head and neck cancer surgeries. Minimally invasive procedures also help you return home sooner and heal faster than traditional open surgeries.

Your Convenience Is Important
We try to make your treatment plan as convenient as possible by coordinating your appointments with the different specialists involved in your care. In addition, our Durham- and Raleigh-based clinics make it possible for you to see a head and neck cancer specialist close to where you work or live.

Remote, Written Second Opinion Reports
Get a written second opinion report from a Duke Health specialist in the comfort of your home. A second opinion can confirm a diagnosis, offer a different diagnosis, provide information about the most advanced treatments available, and ensure confidence in your decisions when faced with a serious medical condition. Learn more about our remote second opinion platform and process.

Best Cancer Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our cancer program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2024–2025.

This page was medically reviewed on 01/19/2024 by