Our Head and Neck program, in collaboration with the Kellogg Cancer Center, offers a comprehensive approach to diagnosis, treatment and recovery for patients with benign and malignant conditions relating to the head and neck. In addition, as a part of our dedication to advancing technologies and care, our team is constantly involved in research and clinical trials to develop the critical tools necessary for improved diagnosis and treatments in both our current and future patients.
Conditions and Symptoms
Conditions of the head and neck cover a broad range of issues from benign thyroid disease to advanced-stage head and neck cancer. Many of these disorders can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life with regard to physical appearance, ability to communicate, and to eat and drink normally. It is our goal to decrease the impact of these issues while providing optimal care for the disease.
Symptoms of head and neck conditions can include:
- A change in your voice for a prolonged period
- A lump in your neck
- Changes in eyesight
- Chronic ear aches
- Coughing or spitting up blood
- Feeling as if you have a lump in your throat
- Mouth sores that are not healing
- Trouble or pain when swallowing
- Unusual shortness of breath
To diminish the risks of developing a head or neck condition, certain factors, such as smoking, chewing tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, should be avoided. Patients should also be aware of the presence of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) as a cause of certain cancers in the throat.
If you suspect you may have a head or neck condition, start by speaking with your primary care physician, who can refer you a specialist.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Our team of specialists visits with the patient in a state-of-the-art clinic facility for evaluation. As a part of the examination, the physician may order tests, such as a laryngoscopy or endoscopy, a CT scan, or a biopsy, that are tailored specifically to the patient's condition.
Because of the rapid communication available to us through our electronic medical records system, all members of your care team, including your primary care physician, will be kept continually informed of all findings and progress. At every stage, we offer support and social care groups created to assist patients and their families during treatment and recovery.
In patients with a head and neck or thyroid cancer, each patient’s unique case is reviewed by a multidisciplinary conference of physicians, a personalized approach unique to us, to determine the best course of treatment, whether it be surgical or non-surgical intervention. This approach provides a comprehensive treatment evaluation for patients with head and neck cancer. Not only is survival affected, but quality of life parameters have also been found to be better, with fewer patients requiring feeding tubes and maintenance of normal swallow function.
Should surgery be determined as the best option, our team is specially trained in the most advanced surgical technologies, such as minimally invasive techniques and robotic and laser-assisted procedures. In addition, we have one of only a few centers in the country using a minimally invasive endoscopic technique to improve the quality of life of those patients with salivary complications following treatment for thyroid cancer. Our aim is to provide our patients with the plan best suited to a long lasting recovery and return to health.
For More Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847.504.3300.