Head and Neck Cancers
Expert Care for Head and Neck CancerThe treatment of head and neck cancers often requires more than one approach.
Our team of experts will customize your treatment, offering transoral robotic surgery and a range of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and support services.
We create a plan based on the latest findings of medical research, and your personal needs and preferences. We also offer a large clinical trials program, featuring innovative approaches if standard treatments fail.
Types of Head and Neck Cancer We Treat
Our team is highly experienced in treating the full range of head and neck cancers, including:
- Advanced skin cancers of the head and neck region
- Oral, typically in cells that cover surfaces of your lips, tongue and mouth
- Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity, in the sinus area inside and surrounding your nose
- Salivary gland, located under your ears, on the floor of your mouth and near your jawbone
- Throat (pharyngeal and oropharyngeal), starting behind your nose and ending where the windpipe (trachea) and esophagus begin
- Thyroid, in the gland at the base of your throat that makes hormones that control your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and weight
- Voice box (laryngeal), contains the vocal cords and epiglottis, tissue that prevents food from entering your air passages
Diagnosing Head and Neck CancerIf you need diagnostic testing for head and neck cancer, our expert team uses advanced technology with accurate and fast results, including:
- Advanced imaging including PET, MRI and CT scans and ultrasound to view organs, bones, tissues and cells inside your body.
- Biopsy, a procedure to remove a small section of tissue for further testing. May be used in combination with ultrasound, CT or MRI.
What Treatments are Available for Head and Neck Cancer?
While our priority is to cure your cancer, we also understand that your ability to eat and talk are important. We offer transoral robotic surgery and the most targeted radiation therapy available, to preserve your quality of life as much as possible. Your doctors will explain your options and help you make an informed decision.
Your treatment likely will include a combination of one of more approaches including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Surgery for Head and Neck Cancer
Transoral Robotic Surgery
Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) allows surgeons to remove head and neck cancers through the mouth, leaving you with no visible incisions or scars. Our head and neck surgeons are among the few in the country certified to perform TORS. The robotic system gives your surgeon a three-dimensional magnified view of your mouth and throat and the ability to remove the cancer with extraordinary precision.
The Robotic Center of Excellence at Hackensack University Medical Center is one of the three largest robotic surgery programs in the New York/New Jersey metro area. We perform the highest volume of minimally invasive cancer procedures in New Jersey.
Other Surgical Approaches
We use minimally invasive surgical approaches whenever possible to reduce your recovery time and limit the length of your hospital stay. Our surgeons have advanced training and experience in the management of head and neck cancer.
- Tumor removal, to eliminate any cancerous growths or masses.
- Voice-preserving surgery, for laryngeal cancer that affects your voice box and ability to swallow. Our team includes one of the few surgeons in New Jersey who performs surgery for laryngeal cancer.
- Laser therapy, which can be effective on early-stage tumors.
- Plastic surgery, to rebuild jawbones and other head and neck structures.
- Skin flap procedures, to aid in the reconstruction of the head and neck area following surgery.
Head and Neck Cancer Treatments
Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapies
We analyze your head and neck cancer to identify its genetic material. This “precision medicine” approach means you receive the most effective and safe chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may be given before surgery to shrink your head or neck tumor, or following surgery to target any remaining cancer cells or to improve the effectiveness of radiation.
Precise radiation is key to preserving your ability to eat and talk. We offer pinpoint radiation therapy—including TomoTherapy® and stereotactic body radiosurgery which finely targets tumor tissue while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible. Learn more about Precise Radiation Therapy
Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trials
John Theurer Cancer Center has one of the region’s most active number of clinical trials for head and neck cancers. This includes immunotherapy that boosts the power of the immune system to find and kill cancer cells. We also offer the highest number of early-phase clinical trials in New Jersey. You may opt to receive an innovative therapy, including investigational drugs that other centers do not offer. Discover Clinical Trials for Head and Neck Cancer
A Team Working for You
Our priority is to cure your cancer while preserving your function and quality of life. Your team includes board-certified head and neck cancer surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, dentists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, nurses, social workers and more who understand the impact that head and neck cancers have on your well-being and quality of life.
Speech and swallowing therapists help you recover from cancer and the side effects of treatment and surgery. Registered dietitians work with you to ensure you are getting enough nutrition to support your health during and after cancer therapy.
“When I learned I needed surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on my tongue, I was afraid I’d lose part of my tongue and my ability to speak. But that didn’t happen, and thanks to noninvasive robotic surgery, I received a second life. I want everyone to know what a great job the team at Hackensack did. I could not have asked for anything better.” - John Longo
John Theurer Cancer Center has recruited cancer doctors from around the world to provide you with award-winning cancer treatment and care. It’s easy to get started with your cancer care. Call 833-CANCER-MD today. We will schedule your appointment promptly.
Clinical Trials for Head and Neck Cancer
John Theurer Cancer Center conducts more clinical trials than any other cancer center in New Jersey. Important studies of head and neck cancer treatments lead to more targeted therapies, better patient outcomes and improved quality of life.
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health
Our head/neck surgeons are certified to perform transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Our Robotic Center of Excellence is one of the largest robotic surgery programs, with the highest volume of minimally invasive cancer procedures in New Jersey.
Quality of Life
Our goal is to cure your head or neck cancer with special attention to your appearance, ability to talk and eat, and your quality of life. We don’t just care for you, but about you. In fact, 99 percent of our patients report satisfaction with their care in Press-Ganey surveys.
We offer a number of convenient John Theurer Cancer Center affiliate locations across the state so you have access to great care, close to home. Clinicians at our affiliated cancer programs collaborate closely with John Theurer Cancer Center and NCI Designated physicians, ensuring access to the best treatment options from the comfort of your neighborhood.