Your Winship care team draws on Emory's vast expertise and resources in surgical oncology, radiation therapy and medical oncology, to provide the newest, most effective practices and treatments for head and neck cancer.
Head and neck cancer affects the mouth, throat, nose and sinuses and salivary glands. Oral and oropharyngeal, laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers are included in this group of diseases.
As specialists, our teams develop groundbreaking treatments that produce better outcomes and are adopted by other leading cancer centers.
The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:
- Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top head and neck cancer experts in the world.
- Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
- Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
- Availability of new treatment options through clinical trials in radiation and systemic therapy.
- Access to support programs and groups for you and your caregivers.
There are several ways your physician may diagnose your head and neck cancer:
- Physical examination
- Imaging via CT, MRI or PET scans
- Endoscopy: flexible or rigid endoscopes are used to look for abnormal tissue throughout the head and neck.
- Biopsy: a small sample of tissue is examined by a pathologist under a microscope to look for cancerous cells.
Winship’s head and neck specialists provide one or more of the following types of treatment:
Surgery: the main purpose of surgery for head and neck cancer patients is to remove the tumor and some of the healthy tissue around it. Reconstructive surgical options are also discussed before the start of treatment.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery or radiation to maximize the treatment.
Radiation: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. It may also be used in combination with a chemotherapy drug that makes the radiation more effective. Learn more about radiation therapy treatments and services.
Targeted therapies: Winship’s most promising research in treating head and neck cancer is in personalized medicine and targeted therapies. In personalized medicine, researchers identify unique characteristics of tumors that make them vulnerable to known drugs so therapy can be tailored to an individual’s cancer. In targeted therapies, investigators look for new drugs that more selectively target cancer cells with fewer side effects.
In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.
Your Treatment Team
- Dr. Carlson is a leading expert in breast reconstruction and skin sparing mastectomy for patients with breast cancer, and microvascular surgery for head and neck cancer patients.
- Wadley R. Glenn Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-3307
- Dr. Mattox is board certified in both otolaryngology and neurotology and specializes in the treatment of malignant and non-malignant tumors of the ear.
- William Chester Warren, Jr., MD Chair and Professor, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. McDonald is a proton therapy expert and also specializes in the treatment of skull base tumors, head and neck cancer, and tumors of the brain and spine.
- Medical Director, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory Proton Therapy Center-Winship Cancer Institute
- (404) 778-3473
- As a medical oncologist, Dr. Shin is sought after for the treatment of lung cancer, head and neck cancer along with mesothelioma, thymoma and thymic carcinoma.
- Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900