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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

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Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer can make once-simple tasks, such as speaking, chewing or swallowing, difficult. But help is within reach. At Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, you receive the care you need close to home. We offer the latest cancer treatments and assistance from specially trained nurse navigators.

The Cancer Institute offers uncommon expertise in head and neck cancer. You have access to sophisticated surgical treatments as well as clinical trials. And we’ll develop a personalized care plan that meets your needs.

Symptoms of head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer can affect the:

  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Nasal cavity (a hollow space behind the nose)
  • Throat
  • Tongue
  • Mouth
  • Tonsils
  • Voice box (larynx)

Symptoms may include:

  • Sores you can feel that do not heal
  • A hoarse voice that does not go away
  • Frequent nosebleeds that don’t stop easily
  • Pain around the nose, cheeks or forehead
  • Numbness in the face
  • Swelling near your eyes, under your chin or around your jaw

Exceptional head and neck cancer care at Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute

We get your cancer care journey off to a good start with our multidisciplinary cancer clinic. You meet with multiple experts, including ear, nose and throat doctors (otolaryngologists) and a radiation oncologist – all of whom have experience treating head and neck cancer. This team, as well as a nurse navigator, explain any unfamiliar terms and help you learn more about treatment options. Find out more about our multidisciplinary cancer clinics. Additional highlights of our program include:

Expertise

Our team includes the region’s only fellowship-trained head and neck cancer surgeon with expertise in microvascular techniques. These techniques allow us to repair head and neck structures after removing cancer, so you look and feel more like you. Meet our cancer team.

Clinical trials

You have access to new cancer treatments through clinical trials. We offer hundreds of options including prestigious national trials for targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Learn more about cancer research and clinical trials.

Support

Nurse navigators are by your side throughout your cancer care journey. Nurse navigators arrange appointments, answer questions and lend a caring ear when you have concerns. Read more about nurse navigators.

Treatments for head and neck cancer

Your personalized care plan may include:

Nutrition therapy

Some forms of head and neck cancer can make eating difficult. Our registered dietitians provide recommendations and coordinate services to help you get the nutrition you need. Read more about cancer nutrition services.  

Speech therapy

If there is a swallowing problem, we may use a special test (videofluoroscopic swallow study) to get to the source so we can connect you with the most effective treatment. Read more about speech therapy.

Radiation therapy

We use beams of energy to break up cancer tissue. We offer all the latest options, including intensity modulated radiation therapy. This technique directs energy beams to match the precise shape of the tumor, so you experience fewer side effects. Find out more about radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy

You receive one or more cancer drugs. We recommend the options that are best for you and tailor doses to help you get the most out of treatment. Read more about chemotherapy.

Robotic surgery

We remove the cancer using robotic technologies that offer a high degree of precision. Robotic surgery minimizes disruption to healthy tissue, lowering your risk for lifelong challenges, such as difficulty eating. Read more about robotic surgery.

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Get a second opinion

Receive personalized recommendations from our team of cancer experts in a single visit.

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Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance member

Our membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance brings you world-class care close to home.

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