Head and Neck Cancer, Symptoms and Causes
Some of the general symptoms of head and neck cancer (which can be indicative of various other illnesses) are persistent sore throat; weight loss; cough; headaches; ear pain; and lumps in the ears, neck or throat.
The Center for Head and Neck Oncology at North Shore-LIJ Health System provides comprehensive and coordinated care for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers and non-cancerous tumors of the head and neck that affect the mouth, throat, larynx, nose, sinuses and scull base. Additionally, the Center treats head and neck melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
One of the premier head and neck cancer centers in the Northeast, the Center for Head and Neck Oncology is the only one on Long Island and Queens exclusively dedicated to the care and treatment of head and neck cancer patients.
A Team Approach for the Best Outcomes
Your care is provided by a multispecialty team of experts that coordinates services for each patient’s unique needs. Our specialists have more experience treating head and neck cancer than anywhere else in the region. Each patient will have a multidisciplinary team of specialists coordinating care, including:
- Head and neck surgeons
- Radiation oncologists
- Medical oncologists
- Endocrine surgeons
- Plastic and reconstructive surgeons
- Head and neck radiologists and neuro-radiologists
- Dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons
- Oral pathologists
- Oral and maxillofacial prosthodontists
- Speech pathologists and swallowing specialists
- Social workers
In addition, our clinicians lead research programs in collaboration with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the newly founded Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. This work provides hope to head and neck cancer patients, today and in the future.
Advanced Surgical Techniques
Our head and neck surgical team performs the most advanced techniques, including:
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Endoscopic skull base surgery
- Microlaryngeal surgery
- Parathyroid surgery
These techniques help prevent damage to organs and surrounding tissue and are performed only at the nation’s most advanced cancer and surgical centers.
In addition to surgical treatments, comprehensive head and neck cancer treatment options include the most advanced radiation medicine procedures, chemotherapy and biologic therapies.
Our patients have access to the most advanced reconstructive techniques. Tumor removal can result in significant functional and cosmetic defects in the head and neck region. In order to restore form and function to the surgical patient, collaboration with plastic and reconstructive surgeons is vital, and allows us to offer state-of the-art reconstruction after tumor removal surgery.
Our expert teams understand the challenge of being diagnosed with head and neck cancer. To provide the highest quality medical care, we offer advanced services designed specifically for head and neck cancer patients. Just as importantly, we provide care for the whole person.
Our specialists are focused not only on curing head and neck cancer, but also on preserving function and quality of life for each patient. The Center’s clinicians and researchers actively collaborate to develop personalized treatment options that target the specific characteristics of each patient’s tumor — a customized method that offers the best chance for remission and a productive, healthy future.
As a first step, each patient is met by key members of the multidisciplinary treatment team. This initial evaluation, along with imaging and laboratory work, allows our clinicians to quickly coordinate and develop a treatment plan that covers all aspects of care.
For the comfort of our patients and to keep them from having to travel all over town from specialist to specialist, our clinicians conduct the initial evaluation in a single office setting, easing anxiety, physical stress and transportation concerns. Most evaluations are completed in a single day or within a week if a second appointment is needed.
Within a few days of referral, each patient is given a definitive course of treatment and supportive care. Patients leave the office with treatment recommendations, a plan and personalized educational materials, including contact numbers and follow-up appointment times with specific team members, including:
- Radiation medicine
- Medical oncology
- Speech pathology
- Head and neck radiology
- Social work
- Nutrition services
- Other specialists, as appropriate
Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trials
The North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute offers a full array of clinical trials. The result of this research not only impacts survival, but also enhances the quality of life. For more information about clinical trials for head and neck cancer, visit Cancer Clinical Trials.
Choose the Best Head and Neck Cancer Care
No other center in the region offers the comprehensive head and neck cancer care provided by the Center for Head and Neck Oncology. To learn more about the vast resources of our Center or to schedule your initial evaluation, please contact us today — we're ready to help:
- Department of Otolaryngology: (718) 470-7550
- Department of Radiation Medicine: (516/718) 470-7190
- Division of Medical Oncology (516/718) 470-8930
- General Information: (855) 688-2466
Learn about the meeting times and locations for our support groups.
To learn more about the different types of cancer and treatment options, visit our Cancer Institute.