Throat Cancer and Voice Box Cancer
Laryngeal and Pharyngeal Cancer
Duke specialists use a comprehensive and personalized approach to detect and treat throat cancer, also known as pharyngeal cancer, and voice box cancer, also referred to as laryngeal cancer. We also treat cancer of the tonsils, which are located on the back of the throat. Our surgeons use sophisticated surgical techniques to remove the tumors, and do everything we can to preserve your ability to function and resume your normal life.
Throat Cancer and Voice Box Cancer Experts
Our physicians and surgeons are expertly equipped to treat and surgically remove tumors from the throat, voice box and tonsils, while preserving your ability to speak and function normally. We work as a team, incorporating specialists in ear nose and throat surgery, medical and radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, oral surgery as well as dentistry. Our goal is to create a personalized treatment plan for the stage and type of your oral cancer. We do our best to treat your cancer and return you to your daily activities as quickly as possible.
If you have been diagnosed with the type of HPV that increases your risk for throat cancer, we work closely with you so treatment can be tailored to your specific situation. Our overarching goal is to detect your throat cancer or voice box cancer early, tailor your treatment, and increase your chances for a positive and long-term outcome.
Choose Duke for your throat or voice box cancer treatment because we offer:
- Nationally-ranked cancer program. We are consistently ranked among the best cancer programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, our throat cancer and voice box cancer team is 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 who 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 cancer voice box cancer, and have experience based on doing just that on a regular basis. We use MRI and CT which produce superior quality images with lower doses of radiation exposure.
- Support to you and your family. Our comprehensive support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of cancer treatment to coping 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 - based on their treatment regimen - can receive chemotherapy outdoors.
THROAT AND VOICE BOX CANCER
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 if 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 to increase precision and visualization as well as allow them to remove hard-to-reach tumors. You may be able to participate an experimental procedure, now being tested in clinical trials, which evaluates the benefits of removing oral cancers using robotic tools through the mouth, rather than through a surgical incisions in the neck.
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.
Kills or slows the growth of the tumor through medicines and may be recommended if your cancer has spread.
THROAT AND VOICE BOX CANCER
Assess swallowing and ability to talk as needed.
A small sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to look for the presence of cancer.
CT, MRI and PET scans may be used to locate and identify the type of cancer, and to determine if it has spread. We use the latest MRI technology to ensure superior imaging, and CT to produce superior results with less exposure to radiation.
A lighted tube is inserted in the mouth to identify cancer and determine its extent, how big it is and what structures are involved.
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.