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Head and Neck Cancer Treatment and Support

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center’s caring staff work together to create a customized treatment plan that’s right for you. You will receive undivided attention from our expert oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists and plastic surgeons. Caring for the whole person means we support you across all aspects of your treatment with access to highly skilled nurses, speech pathologists, audiologists, nutritionists, psychologists and social workers.

How is Head and Neck Cancer Treated?

Many cancers of the head and neck can achieve remission, especially if found early. While eliminating your cancer is the primary goal of treatment, we also want to preserve your function. When planning treatment, Banner MD Anderson doctors consider how treatment could affect how you feel, look, talk, eat and breathe.

In addition to treating your disease, your doctor’s job is also to help you understand the treatment options available. Banner MD Anderson is here to answer any questions you may have about treatments, side effects and recovery.

Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy are the main treatments for head and neck cancer. In general, patients with early-stage head and neck cancers are treated with either radiation therapy or surgery. Patients with more advanced cancers may need surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Also, ask your doctor if you qualify for any clinical trials.

What Are Side Effects of Head and Neck Cancer Treatment?

With head and neck cancer surgery, you may experience side effects such as temporary or permanent loss of voice, impaired speech, hearing loss, difficultly chewing or swallowing, stiffness, swelling or disfigurement. Side effects of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy can often be reduced and managed with medication and other treatments.

Resources and Support for Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Making sure you are physically comfortable, free from pain and emotionally supported is extremely important to your team at Banner MD Anderson. We understand that being diagnosed with head and neck cancer is stressful for you and your loved ones. We encourage you to be open with us about your feelings, preferences and concerns. Our teams and resources are here to support you each step of the way.

Get more information on all the support services, including head and neck cancer support groups, offered with Banner MD Anderson’s Integrative Oncology Program.

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