doctor checking patients glands in neck

Head & Neck Cancer

Innovative Surgical Care

Our otolaryngology – head and neck surgery (ear, nose and throat) department has been ranked as one of the top in the nation and is nationally recognized for diagnosis, treatment and reconstruction of head and neck cancers, including sinus cavity and nasal cancers. Our treatment of esthesioneuroblastoma, a rare nasal cavity cancer, is world renowned, as are our results with other anterior skull-base tumors (tumors that begin in the roof of the nose and extend into the brain).

Advanced Techniques

We use surgical procedures that remove tumors while preserving appearance, functionality and quality of life and offer sophisticated reconstructive techniques when needed. Our doctors have pioneered innovative surgeries that spare intrusion into the eye region in patients with sinus and nasal cancers and remove tumors from complex areas, such as the skull base. We use a sophisticated robot to remove throat tumors through the mouth so patients recover faster than traditional approaches through the neck. We transfer tissue from other parts of the body to rebuild jawbones, throats and tongues that improve speech, swallowing and appearance after surgery.

Targeted Radiation Therapy

Traditionally, head and neck cancers have been difficult to treat with radiation therapy. But we treat many patients using intensity modulated radiation therapy that allows us to deliver precise radiation doses to the tumor while sparing healthy tissue nearby. We’re also doing innovative research to discover new drug combinations that may reduce the doses of radiation required to cure patients.

In addition to offering the latest in surgical and non-surgical approaches to cancer treatment, the Head & Neck Cancer team at UVA provides videoconferencing that allows surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists and other members of the team collaborate with the patient online, reducing the time required to determine a treatment plan from four weeks to two. This makes the treatment process a lot easier for patients as the number of in-person visits as well as travel to and from the clinic are both reduced.