The treatment of head and neck cancers at Intermountain Cancer Centers involves a multidisciplinary approach where otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists, or ENTs), radiation and medical oncologists, pathologists, diagnostic and interventional radiologists, speech therapists, and others work together and meet at a specialized tumor conference held bimonthly, to plan the best treatment courses for these very complicated cancers.

Surgery is often the first-line treatment option for head and neck cancers, but treatment often requires all three of the major cancer therapy modalities—surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Our board certified head and neck cancer specialists participate in clinical trials and utilize national guidelines to plan treatment.

Head and neck cancers include cancers of the thyroid, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), jaw or jawbone (mandible), salivary (parotid) glands, oral cavity, the sinuses and nasal cavity, the ear, and skin cancers of the head and neck.

Treatments and Procedures

A number of minimally invasive, open, or robotic-assisted surgery may be used. Transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) is an emerging minimally invasive technique for head and neck malignancies that allows surgeons to remove tumors through the oral cavity, preserving as much speech and swallowing function as possible. Microvascular and transoral reconstructive techniques restore appearance and function of the head and neck area.