Head and Neck Cancer

When you come to Winship Cancer Institute for head and neck cancer treatment, you have a multidisciplinary team of experts drawing from a vast set of resources and dedicated to your well-being.

The experts at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University treat more patients with head and neck cancer than any other type of cancer.

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.

For reliable, in-depth information about cancer symptoms, staging and diagnosis, visit CancerQuest, an educational and outreach program at Emory University. 

Visit CancerQuest

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 counselorsnurse navigatorsdietitians and social service professionals.

 Consider talking with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial at Winship. Through these trials, you may have access to treatments that are not widely available.

Learn More About Clinical Trials

If you have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer, we are ready to help you. Call us at 1 (888) 946-7447 or (404) 778-1900 to make an appointment or request an appointment online. Winship experts are available to provide a second opinion.

We understand that this is a very stressful time. We welcome your questions and requests for help. Learn what to expect on your first visit.

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Wendy Baer MD

  • Oncology Psychiatrist
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                                 Wendy Baer MD
Wendy Baer MD

Wendy Baer MD

  • Dr. Baer helps patients and their families deal with the stress of receiving a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
  • Medical Director of Psychiatric Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD
Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO
Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO

Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO

  • Dr. Beitler is a radiation oncologist specializing in head and neck cancer at Winship Cancer Institute.
  • Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2391

Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD
Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

Stephen Brandt MD

  • Endocronologist
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                                 Stephen Brandt MD
Stephen Brandt MD

Stephen Brandt MD

  • A board certified endocronologist, Dr. Brandt specializes in adrenal disorders, diabetes mellitis, osteoporosis, pituitary disorders and thyroid disorders.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Grant W. Carlson MD

  • Reconstructive Surgeon
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                                 Grant W. Carlson MD
Grant W. Carlson MD

Grant W. Carlson MD

  • 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) 778-1900

Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS
Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS

Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS

  • Dr. Chen specializes in advanced skin cancers and otolaryngology, specifically thyroid and parotid cancers.
  • Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3381

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Supportive Oncologist
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                                 Kimberly A. Curseen MD
Kimberly A. Curseen MD

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Dr. Curseen is the primary provider for the Supportive Oncology Clinic at Winship.
  • Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services , Emory Healthcare
  • (404) 778-6448

Scott Edelman MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Scott Edelman MD
Scott Edelman MD

Scott Edelman MD

  • Dr. Edelman is a radiation oncologist at Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center specializing in head and neck malignancies.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 321-6111

Mark W. El-Deiry MD, FACS

  • Otolaryngologist
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                                 Mark W.  El-Deiry MD, FACS
Mark W. El-Deiry MD, FACS

Mark W. El-Deiry MD, FACS

Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Sharon  Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP
Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

Martha Giardina BSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Martha  Giardina BSW
Martha Giardina BSW

Martha Giardina BSW

Joan Giblin NP

  • Survivorship Program
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                                 Joan  Giblin NP
Joan Giblin NP

Joan Giblin NP

  • An experienced nurse practitioner specialist with extensive patient care involvement, Ms. Giblin facilitates continued good health and quality of life for cancer survivors.
  • Survivorship Program Director, Winship Cancer Institute
  • (404) 778-1900

Ulrike Gorgens MSN, NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Ulrike Gorgens MSN, NP
Ulrike Gorgens MSN, NP

Ulrike Gorgens MSN, NP

Valerie Henderson MSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Valerie Henderson MSW
Valerie Henderson MSW

Valerie Henderson MSW

Kristin Higgins MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Kristin Higgins MD
Kristin Higgins MD

Kristin Higgins MD

  • As a radiation oncologist, Dr. Higgins specializes in the treatment of lung, head and neck cancers.
  • Assistant Professor and Medical Director, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3473

Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR

  • Radiologist
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                                 Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR
Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR

Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR

  • As director of Head and Neck Radiology at Winship, Dr. Hudgins is a leader in the diagnosis and staging of a variety of cancers including laryngeal, oropharyngeal, and thyroid cancers.
  • Director, Head and Neck Radiology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Fadlo R. Khuri MD, FACP

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Fadlo R. Khuri MD, FACP
Fadlo R. Khuri MD, FACP

Fadlo R. Khuri MD, FACP

  • A world-renowned lung cancer and head and neck cancer expert, Dr. Khuri is Deputy Director of Winship Cancer Institute and editor-in-chief of the journal Cancer.
  • Deputy Director, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Adam Klein MD

  • Otolaryngologist
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                                 Adam Klein MD
Adam Klein MD

Adam Klein MD

  • Assistant Director of the Emory Voice Center, Dr. Klein specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Irina Knudsen NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Irina Knudsen NP
Irina Knudsen NP

Irina Knudsen NP

Colleen Lewis NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Colleen Lewis NP
Colleen Lewis NP

Colleen Lewis NP

Douglas E. Mattox MD

  • Otolaryngologist
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                                 Douglas E. Mattox MD
Douglas E. Mattox MD

Douglas E. Mattox MD

  • A internationally known expert in otology and neurotology, Dr. Mattox is the William Chester Warren Jr., MD Chair and Professor of the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.
  • William Chester Warren, Jr., MD Chair and Professor, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Charles E. Moore MD

  • Otolaryngologist
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                                 Charles E. Moore MD
Charles E. Moore MD

Charles E. Moore MD

Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

  • Nurse Navigator
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                                 Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN
Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD
Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD

Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD

  • Dr. Owonikoko's clinical specialties include lung cancer, thyroid cancer and other cancers of the aerodigestive tract.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Sandra Parker NP-C

  • Team Member
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                                 Sandra Parker NP-C
Sandra Parker NP-C

Sandra Parker NP-C

  • Ms. Parker is an advanced registered nurse practitioner in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
  • Nurse Practitioner, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7004

Mihir R. Patel MD

  • Otolaryngologist
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                                 Mihir R. Patel MD
Mihir R. Patel MD

Mihir R. Patel MD

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • At Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Ms. Perlmutter works with patients of all cancer types providing resource referrals and counseling services.
  • Social Worker, Outpatient Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7826

Carol Rivera ACBSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Carol Rivera ACBSW
Carol Rivera ACBSW

Carol Rivera ACBSW

Steven Roser MD, DMD, FACS

  • Surgeon
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                                 Steven Roser MD, DMD, FACS
Steven Roser MD, DMD, FACS

Steven Roser MD, DMD, FACS

Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP
Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

Dong Moon Shin MD, FACP

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Dong Moon Shin MD, FACP
Dong Moon Shin MD, FACP

Dong Moon Shin MD, FACP

  • 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.
  • Associate Director for Academic Development, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Social Worker
Photo of 
                                 Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW
Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Ms. Tinsley works with the genitourinary and gastrointestinal patients at Winship Cancer Institute and the breast, gynecological and sarcoma patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-5976

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD
Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Dr. Vainshtein treats patients with head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, thoracic malignancies and sarcomas at both Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
  • Instructor, Clinical Track, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3473

J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS

  • Otolaryngologist
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                                 J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS
J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS

J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS

  • Dr. Wadsworth's expertise includes head and neck oncologic surgery, microvascular reconstruction surgery, parathyroid and thyroid surgery.
  • Associate Professor & Vice-Chair of Clinical Affairs, Otolaryngology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP

  • NP Specialist
Photo of 
                                 Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP
Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP

Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP

  • Ms. Wrammert helps patients manage their treatment related side effects as well as symptoms from their disease.
  • Nurse Practitioner Specialist, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

David Yu MD, PhD

  • Radiation Oncologist
Photo of 
                                 David Yu MD, PhD
David Yu MD, PhD

David Yu MD, PhD

  • A radiation oncologist, Dr. Yu specializes in treating head and neck, breast and lung cancers at Grady Memorial Hospital.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 616-3957