Head and Neck Cancer

Inspira’s multidisciplinary team offers advanced and compassionate care for head and neck cancer and includes a board certified, fellowship trained specialist. Head and neck cancer is just that: cancer that begins and progresses in the head and neck region. These cancers can begin in any of the following places:
  • Mouth (oral cavity)
  • Nose (nasal cavity)
  • Paranasal sinuses, which are the spaces around the nose that are lined with cells that produce mucus
  • Salivary glands
  • Throat (pharynx)
  • Voice box (larynx)

Symptoms

Because there are so many different varieties of head and neck cancers, the symptoms are equally variable. In general, any open sores or lumps in the mouth or gums, headaches, difficulty breathing, speaking or swallowing, and hoarseness of the voice can all signify head or neck cancer.

Other symptoms include:
  • Lump in the neck
  • Lump or sore inside the nose that will not heal
  • Sore throat that does not go away
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Frequent nosebleeds or ones that don’t stop
  • Weakness in the muscles of the face
  • Numbness in the face
  • Pain in the ear, face, chin, neck, upper back, jaw or upper teeth
  • Vomiting
  • Loose teeth or dentures
  • Unexplained weight loss

It is important to seek medical advice from your physician regarding these symptoms, however, as they can also be caused by less serious conditions.

Screening

Dentists, in addition to doctors, can help to screen for oral cancers. If your primary care doctor or head and neck specialist suspects you may have head or neck cancer, they will administer a number of tests including but not limited to a chest X-ray, CT, PET CT, MRI, ultrasound and/or bone scan. These tests will help determine whether or not a tumor is present, and whether the cancer has spread throughout the body.

Treatment

Treatment for head and neck cancer will vary depending on the stage, type and your overall health. In some cases, your doctor may decide to tackle treatment with medication. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormone therapy are all common medication-based treatments. These treatments are all managed by medical oncologists.

Surgery is often used to treat cancerous lumps and tissue and can be very effective in removing your cancer. Whenever possible, your Inspira physician will operate using minimally invasive surgery techniques to reduce any pain or discomfort.

Radiation treatment can be used to reduce or eliminate cancerous lumps or tissue instead of other treatments and are very commonly used after other treatments - surgery and/or treatments in the area of medical oncology.

Genetic and Genomic testing can aid your care team in recommending your treatment plan. Genetic testing determines if an inherited gene mutation contributed to your cancer diagnosis. And, Genomic looks for gene alterations, or harmful changes, anywhere in the genetic code.

If you’d like more information about your or a loved one’s cancer care, or to receive a second opinion about a diagnosis, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Why Choose Inspira?

Advanced Technology Meets Compassionate Support

We combine cutting-edge medical technology with a human touch, allowing us to provide expert care. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained oncology physicians are well-versed in the latest cancer treatments and are equipped with advanced technologies that can increase your chances for a successful recovery. We also understand that navigating the ups and downs of life with cancer can be overwhelming, which is why we provide a built-in support system of social workers, counselors, navigators, registered dietitians and behavioral health specialists so you and your family don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone.

A Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Care

Inspira’s oncology physicians take a multi-faceted approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer by looking at your condition from a holistic perspective. Whether you’re just beginning treatment or are a cancer-free survivor, we take everything—genetics, lifestyle habits and other risk factors—into account when designing your care plan. By treating the whole person rather than just the disease itself, we’re able to offer a more targeted, personalized experience.

Access to Clinical Trials

Inspira participates in clinical trials to explore new ways to prevent, detect or treat cancer. Clinical trials can also focus on other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with cancer. Participants help others and may also benefit from receiving the newest treatment along with additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

Cancer Services Close to Home

Residents of South Jersey need not travel far to get the best in cancer care—with multiple facilities in the region, Inspira delivers a full breadth of cancer services close to where you live. When you’re not distracted by a long commute to your medical provider, you have more energy to focus on what’s important: healing and getting your life back.