Both benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors in the head and neck area require special handling to preserve the proper functioning of sensory organs, as well as reducing the cosmetic impact of surgery. Treatment of head and neck tumors is complicated, requiring a team of doctors to be involved with expertise in this area. Our specialists are experienced in head and neck surgery for the removal of tumors in the vicinity of the face, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, throat, salivary glands, skull base, and neck.
In most instances, a benign (non-cancerous) diagnosis can be determined prior to surgery. Surgical removal can be performed with a simple outpatient procedure. Common benign growth removed from the head and neck are listed below:
Treatment of head and neck cancer requires the involvement of a multidisciplinary team of specialists to coordinate diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Your ENT surgeon is an integral member of this team. Diagnosis usually involves a biopsy, either in the office or with a diagnostic surgical procedure. Once cancer has been confirmed additional workup usually involves further imaging; (CT scan, PET scan, MRI) and consultation with other members of the multidisciplinary team (radiology, oncology, radiation oncology, speech and swallowing therapists) Treatment recommendations (surgery or radiation therapy alone, surgery followed by radiation therapy, or combined chemotherapy with radiation therapy without surgery) will depend on the type of tumor you have, the stage of presentation and will take into consideration your overall health status. Our goal is to maximize your potential for a cure while minimizing your treatment side effects.
Common sites of head and neck cancer include:
“I’ve worked with Puget Sound ENT and Dr. Shawn Rogers since 2012. I had multiple polyps in both sides of my sinuses and required surgery. The team at Puget Sound ENT treated me very professionally and with much consideration. I felt comfortable and informed throughout the entire experience, especially because Dr. Rogers spoke with me with such care and in terms that I could always understand. Since my surgery, I have felt great! I know that polyps can return and if it did, I would not hesitate in having surgery again through Puget Sound ENT. I would highly recommend Dr. Rogers to family and friends.”
If you encounter a lump in your neck lasting more than 2 weeks, it should be assessed by a physician as soon as possible. While most lumps are benign (non-cancerous) they can be the first sign of cancer originating from the mouth, throat, larynx (voice box), thyroid and salivary glands. Or they may represent a more systemic cancerous process such as lymphoma. Other common presenting symptoms include changes in voice, pain with swallowing or difficulties with swallowing, ear pain, persistent sore throat and a painful or visible growth in your mouth or throat.
There are many known risk factors for the development of head and neck cancer including the use of tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or snuff) and alcohol consumption. Cancer arising from the mouth has been associated with chronic dental disease, infections and inflammation. HPV virus has recently become the leading cause of tonsil and tongue base cancer. Skin cancer of the lips, face and ears is caused by sun exposure. An important cause of nasopharyngeal cancer (behind the nose) is the Epstein Bar Virus (EBV) most often associated with people of South East Asian ancestry.
Begin by contacting Puget Sound ENT and scheduling your first appointment. Our in-house ENT specialists provide comprehensive evaluations and perform in-depth testing to quickly lead to diagnosis and development of a treatment plan. If you have any symptoms or concerns about head and neck cancer, contact us right away.
Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer requires the involvement of a multidisciplinary team of specialists including Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgeons, Oncology, and Radiation Oncologists. Treatment is tailored to the specifics of a patient tumor location, tumor stage and the patients overall health status at the time of initial presentation. Treatment may consist of surgery or radiation therapy alone, a combination of surgery followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy without surgery.