Head and neck cancers are a group of cancers that develop in the head and neck area, including the mouth, face, throat, oral cavity, tongue, larynx, neck, salivary glands, face and neck skin, thyroid, parathyroid glands, ear and skull base.

Head and neck tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). They may be caused by alcohol and tobacco use, radiation exposure, viruses such as HPV and EBV, or underlying genetic disorders.

Our multidisciplinary team of North American and European Board-certified experts is dedicated to treating patients in a collaborative approach to deliver trusted and compassionate care using state-of-the-art surgical and medical treatment, including image-guided surgery, nerve monitoring and 3D planning of surgical resection, and microvascular reconstruction.


Symptoms of head and neck cancer can vary depending on the location and include:

  • Mouth or throat ulcer that has not healed after 3 weeks
  • Face or neck swelling lasting over 3 weeks
  • Change of voice for over 2 weeks
  • Any lump in the skin of the face or neck
  • Hoarseness and other voice changes
  • Choking sensation
  • Speech difficulties
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing and breathing
  • Bleeding from the mouth, throat, nose and ears
  • Sudden deafness
  • Throat pain


In order to effectively manage head and neck cancer, early and accurate diagnosis is crucial. In addition to a series of diagnostic tests, a thorough physical exam is conducted by an expert multidisciplinary team to identify symptoms. These may include:

Nasal endoscopy: Nasal endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows a doctor to examine the inside of the nasal passages and sinuses using a small, flexible, lighted tube to provide a detailed view of the tissues, structures, and any abnormalities that may be present.

Laryngoscopy: A laryngoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows a doctor to examine the larynx, pharynx, and other structures in the upper respiratory tract using a flexible or rigid lighted tube.

Ultrasound: An ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the body structure.

Computed tomography (CT) scan: In this imaging test, X-rays are used to create horizontal images to provide detailed images of any part of the body.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test provides detailed images of organs and structures within the body using large magnets, radiofrequency and a computer.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: This is a type of medical imaging that uses a small amount of radioactive material to create images of the body's internal structures and functions.

Angiography: Angiography is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the blood vessels in the head and neck to look for causes of the symptoms, bleeding and more diagnostic information.


Head and neck cancer treatment depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer, as well as the patient's health and preferences. Treatment options for head and neck cancer may include:

Surgery: A surgical procedure may involve the removal of the tumor and nearby tissue, including lymph nodes if necessary. The extent of surgery depends on the size, location and stage of the cancer.

Following surgery, reconstructive procedures are often necessary to restore the appearance and function of the affected areas, such as speech and swallowing, based on the individual patient's needs. This can range from using nearby tissue to reconstruct the area where the tumor was removed or transplanting tissue from other parts of the body (microvascular free flap surgery).

Radiation therapy: A high-energy beam of radiation is used to destroy cancer cells or shrink tumors. Radiation therapy can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments.

Chemotherapy: Anti-cancer medications are used to kill cancer cells or stop their growth. It is common to use chemotherapy in combination with other treatments, such as radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can be given before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy), after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy), or as the primary treatment.

Targeted therapy: Specific molecules or pathways involved in cancer cell growth and survival are targeted by these medications. In cancer cells with specific genetic or molecular abnormalities, targeted therapy may be used.

Immunotherapy: Using this approach, the immune system is stimulated to recognize and attack cancer cells. Head and neck cancers are commonly treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as PD-1 inhibitors and PD-L1 inhibitors.

Post-Surgery care: During the healing process after head and neck cancer surgery, rehabilitation plays a vital role in promoting recovery and improving your quality of life. Our rehabilitation team comprises physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, dietitians and wound care specialists dedicated to providing tailored treatment plans for your needs. From speech therapy to customized diet plans, our highly-skilled team ensures a comfortable and successful healing journey.

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