Head & Neck Oncology Program Our Services
Patients of the Head and Neck Oncology Program have access to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options available. Supportive care is also available through the CompleteLife Program whose staff compassionately support and educate our patients by tending to the emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs of our patients.
Head and neck cancer diagnosis may be aided by one or more of the following tools:
clinical examination to check for lumps or anything else that seems unusual
blood testing to measure the amounts of certain substances that may indicate the presence of cancer
biopsy to remove cells or tissues for examination under a microscope
fiberoptic laryngoscopy or nasopharygoscopy to examine, with the assistance of a lighted tube, the larynx (voice box), nose or pharynx (extending from behind the nose to the top of the windpipe) and esophagus (leading to the stomach) for abnormal areas.
CT, MRI, and PET scans to take detailed pictures of the head and neck area and look for cancer cells
Treatment options for head and neck cancer include one or more of the following, based on the most current treatment recommendations and the needs of the patient:
surgical excision, to remove the cancer and sometimes surrounding healthy tissues and lymph nodes, and reconstruction to reshape or rebuild a part of the head or neck area changed in an operation
chemotherapy to kill cancer cells with drugs
radiotherapy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors
chemoradiation to administer chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time
chemoprevention to prevent a second cancer in the mouth, throat, windpipe, nose, or esophagus with drug therapy
dentistry to maintain and improve function during and after treatment
IU Simon Cancer Center patients have access to all standard treatment therapies and, for those who qualify, clinical trials for care options not yet available elsewhere. Information is also available about ongoing clinical studies elsewhere in the United States.