doctor checking patients glands in neck

Head & Neck Cancer

Cancers of your nose, mouth, throat, voicebox, thyroid gland, salivary glands and skin can threaten your most important senses as well as your physical appearance. These tumors grow in hard-to-reach places, and sometimes they extend into your eyes and brain.

At UVA, we have specialty surgeons to manage these difficult cancers. They collaborate with radiation and chemotherapy doctors to provide the best care. You can also benefit from access to new and more advanced treatments through our clinical trials. And we provide surgical options that don’t involve cutting into your neck or face, using techniques that preserve your appearance, functionality and quality of life.

ENT Expertise in Head & Neck Cancer

Our ENT services rank high on a national level. We’ve also earned global recognition for expertise in:

  • Treating a rare nasal cavity cancer (esthesioneuroblastoma)
  • Pioneering innovative surgeries that spare the eye area when operating on sinus and nasal cancers
  • Procedures that remove tumors that extend from the nose to the brain (skull-base tumors)

Reaching Hard-to-Get Cancers

Cancers of the head and neck have been traditionally difficult to treat with either radiation or surgery, due to their hard-to-reach locations.

That’s why we offer intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This delivery system allows us to deliver precise radiation doses to the tumor while sparing healthy tissue nearby.

Surgery with Robots

Cancers at the back of the tongue and throat used to require extremely invasive open surgeries.

Today, we have robotic-assisted surgery options. A surgeon can reach these areas without major open surgery, manipulating tiny robotic arms to remove tumors. Patients have less pain and recovery time and better overall outcomes.

Tumors We Treat

Finding Answers & Expertise

Faster Answers

Having a growth can cause extreme anxiety. At UVA, our specialists can typically biopsy and examine growths in your mouth or throat during the time of your appointment, reducing your wait for a diagnosis.

If we need more information, our office-based ultrasound technology allows us to perform imaging without further delay. 

Start with an ENT specialist

Head & Neck Reconstruction

Depending on the location of your tumor and the type of surgery you have, you may have damaged skin, bones or other facial features following cancer treatment. At UVA, you have access to skilled surgeons trained in complex reconstruction techniques that restore your facial features to both form and function.

More about facial reconstruction

Collaboration for Concentrated Care

Because of the difficulties and delicacy of treating head and neck cancers, we have several types of experts to concentrate on your care. Our ENT surgeons, skull base specialists and the oncology team work together to give you the advanced level of treatment you need.

See our skull base experts