Throat Cancer and Voice Box Cancer Treatment

Throat Cancer and Voice Box Cancer Treatment

Laryngeal and Pharyngeal Cancer

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Duke specialists detect and treat throat cancer (pharyngeal cancer), voice box cancer (laryngeal cancer), and cancer of the tonsils. We use sophisticated surgical techniques to remove tumors and do everything we can to preserve your ability to speak and function normally. If you've been diagnosed with the type of HPV that increases your risk for throat cancer, we work closely with you to tailor treatment to your specific situation. 

Our team includes specialists in ear, nose, and throat surgery; medical and radiation oncology; reconstructive surgery; oral surgery; and dentistry. Our goal is to detect cancer early, personalize your treatment, and increase your chances for a positive outcome.

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Removes the tumor, part of the throat, voice box, tonsils, lymph nodes, and surrounding tissues, depending on the type and size of the tumor and whether or not the tumor has spread. Our surgeons use a wide range of surgical approaches, including laser surgery, which can reduce bleeding. Our doctors employ robotic tools, which increase precision and visualization and allow them to remove hard-to-reach tumors. You may be able to participate in a clinical trial evaluating the benefits of removing oral cancers using robotic tools through the mouth, rather than through surgical incisions in the neck.

Radiation Therapy

MRI and CT imaging technology pinpoints the precise location of the tumor and targets it with beams of high-energy X-rays, destroying the cancer cells. This image-guided approach, used before and after surgery, minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue.


Medicines to kill or slow the growth of the tumor. May be recommended if your cancer has spread.


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


Functioning Tests

These tests assess your ability to swallow and talk as needed.


A small sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to look for the presence of cancer.

Advanced Imaging

CT, MRI, and PET scans may be used to locate cancer, identify its type, and determine whether it has spread. We use the latest MRI technology to ensure superior imaging and CT to produce superior results with less exposure to radiation.

Flexible Laryngoscopy

A lighted tube is inserted in the mouth to identify cancer and determine its extent, how big it is, and what structures are involved.

Bone Scan

Radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. A scan of the material determines if the throat cancer or voice box cancer has spread to the bone.

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Why Choose Duke

Nationally-Ranked Cancer Program
As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are recognized for exploring new treatment opportunities through ongoing clinical trials. We offer you the latest research discoveries before they are available elsewhere.

Techniques to Preserve Function
Our physicians are specially trained in surgical and medical techniques that preserve the structure of your voice box as well as your ability to speak.

Access to Ongoing Research
You may be eligible to participate in ongoing research that may help you or others with oral cancers.

A Comprehensive Team
Our specialists -- otolaryngologists who are experts in head and neck surgery; medical, surgical and radiation oncologists; dentists; reconstructive surgeons; and oral surgeons -- work together to ensure you receive the best possible care. Specially trained nurses, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists help you recover and resume your daily activities.

Advanced Surgical Skill
Our surgical specialists are expertly equipped to remove tumors in the head and neck, and use a variety of tools, including laser surgery and robotic surgery, to increase surgical precision and remove hard-to-reach tumors in the throat and voice box.

Experienced Radiologists
Our radiologists are specially trained to read images for throat and voice box cancer and have experience doing just that on a regular basis.

Support to You and Your Family
Our comprehensive support services range from helping you minimize the side effects of cancer treatment to helping you and your family cope with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.  

Comforting Environment
Our Duke Cancer Center features spacious waiting areas, a Quiet Room, large infusion rooms, and a rooftop garden area where patients -- depending on their treatment regimen -- can receive chemotherapy outdoors.

Among the Best Cancer Hospitals in U.S.
Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital's cancer program is ranked among the nation's best.

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