More than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck each year. Accounting for 3-5% of all cancers in the U.S., this category includes cancerous tumors that develop in the throat, larynx (voice box), nose, sinuses and the mouth. Men are at higher risk for head and neck cancer than women. Overall the incidence of and number of deaths from head and neck cancers has been decreasing over the past 20 years.
Cancer of the head and neck can take many different forms, including:
- Laryngeal Cancer, located at the top of the windpipe, or trachea.
- Hypopharyngeal Cancer, in the lower part of the throat.
- Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer, in the cavity behind the nose.
- Nasopharyngeal Cancer, in the air passage found at the top of the throat, just behind the nose.
- Salivary Gland Cancer, in the glands that produce saliva, located in and around the mouth and throat.
- Oral cancer, of the mouth and tongue.
- Oropharyngeal Cancer, located in the middle of the throat, extending from the tonsils to the top of the larynx.
Our cancer treatment program, in collaboration with the physicians of Blue Ridge Cancer Care, provides the full range of treatments for head and neck cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation, on both an in-patient and out-patient basis.
We offer Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), an advanced form of precisely targeted radiation treatment that has proven helpful for particular types of head and neck cancers by allowing preservation of salivary function and a dramatic reduction in long term side effects.
We emphasize a multidisciplinary approach to care so every patient benefits from the collaborative expertise of an experienced team of specialists who meet regularly to discuss each patient's care and progress. Our surgeons, specialists in minimally invasive procedures, have extensive experience treating all types of cancer. We encourage patients and their loved ones to participate in a wide range of complementary and alternative treatments, including support groups, nutritional counseling, massage and more.