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. 

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.

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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Rebecca Arnold LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Rebecca Arnold LCSW, OSW-C
Rebecca Arnold LCSW, OSW-C

Rebecca Arnold LCSW, OSW-C

Wendy Baer MD

  • Psychiatric Oncologist
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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) 778-1900

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

Russell Brown LMSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Russell Brown LMSW
Russell Brown LMSW

Russell Brown LMSW

  • Mr. Brown works with gastrointestinal, genitourinary, breast cancer, brain cancer, gynecological, aerodigestive, and sarcoma patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-5191

Grant W. Carlson MD, FACS

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

Grant W. Carlson MD, FACS

  • 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) 778-1900

Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C
Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C

Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C

Hannah H. Collins NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Hannah H. Collins NP
Hannah H. Collins NP

Hannah H. Collins NP

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) 778-1900

Samantha Dunn MS, RD, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Samantha Dunn MS, RD, LD
Samantha Dunn MS, RD, LD

Samantha Dunn MS, RD, LD

  • A Registered Dietitian, Mrs. Dunn provides cancer patients who are undergoing treatment at Emory University Hospital Midtown with personalized nutrition advice.
  • Registered Dietitian, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-0221

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) 778-1900

Mark W. El-Deiry MD, FACS

  • Head and Neck Surgeon
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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

Bruce D. Goldsweig MD

  • Community Oncologist
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                                 Bruce D. Goldsweig MD
Bruce D. Goldsweig MD

Bruce D. Goldsweig MD

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) 778-1900

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

  • Dr. Hudgins specializes in the imaging of the head and neck and has been recognized for her exceptional achievements and techniques in radiology.
  • Director, Head and Neck Radiology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 712-4583

Meryl Kaufman MEd, CCC-SLP, BRS-S

  • Speech-Language Pathologist
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                                 Meryl Kaufman MEd, CCC-SLP, BRS-S
Meryl Kaufman MEd, CCC-SLP, BRS-S

Meryl Kaufman MEd, CCC-SLP, BRS-S

  • Ms. Kaufman works closely with the otolaryngology team to address laryngeal conditions of all types, including problems that affect the voice, swallowing, and airway.
  • Lead Speech-Language Pathologist, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 778-1900

Adam Klein MD

  • Head and Neck Surgeon
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                                 Adam Klein MD
Adam Klein MD

Adam Klein MD

Emily Walters Klein RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Emily Walters Klein RD, CSO, LD
Emily Walters Klein RD, CSO, LD

Emily Walters Klein RD, CSO, LD

  • Ms. Klein offers personalized nutrition advice to cancer patients treated at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory Johns Creek Hospital.
  • Registered Dietitian, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7115

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

  • Head and Neck Surgeon
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                                 Douglas E. Mattox MD
Douglas E. Mattox MD

Douglas E. Mattox MD

  • 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

Joy McCall LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Joy  McCall LCSW, OSW-C
Joy McCall LCSW, OSW-C

Joy McCall LCSW, OSW-C

  • Located at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Ms. McCall works with the medical oncology teams and their patients.
  • Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Mark McDonald MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Mark McDonald MD
Mark McDonald MD

Mark McDonald MD

  • Dr. McDonald specializes in the treatment of skull base tumors, head and neck cancer, and tumors of the brain and spine, as well as proton therapy.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Charles E. Moore MD

  • Head and Neck Surgeon
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                                 Charles E. Moore MD
Charles E. Moore MD

Charles E. Moore MD

  • Dr. Moore specializes in otolaryngology and the surgical treatment of cancers of the head and neck with a focus craniomaxillofacial and anterior skull base surgery.
  • Chief of Service, Otolaryngology, Grady Memorial Hospital
  • (404) 778-1900

Melvin R. Moore MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Melvin R. Moore MD
Melvin R. Moore MD

Melvin R. Moore MD

  • Dr. Moore treats head and neck, lung and genitourinary cancer patients at Grady Memorial Hospital.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

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, MSCR

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

Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD, MSCR

  • 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) 778-5378

Kim Palmer

  • Chaplain
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                                 Kim Palmer
Kim Palmer

Kim Palmer

  • Ms. Palmer provides spiritual care to patients, families, and staff in both outpatient and inpatient settings.
  • Chaplain, Emory University Hospital
  • (404) 712-7200

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

  • Head and Neck Surgeon
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                                 Mihir R. Patel MD
Mihir R. Patel MD

Mihir R. Patel MD

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
Photo of 
                                 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

  • Ms. Rivera works with the aerodigestive and gastrointestinal cancer teams and their patients.
  • Social Worker, Medical Oncology and Surgical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-4593

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

  • Dr. Roser specializes in palate and maxillofacial surgery.
  • DeLos Hill Professor of Oral Surgery and Chief, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-5883

Martha J. Ryan MS, FNP-C

  • Lead Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Martha J. Ryan MS, FNP-C
Martha J. Ryan MS, FNP-C

Martha J. Ryan MS, FNP-C

Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

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

Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

Elizabeth L. Seelinger MS, CCC-SLP

  • Speech-Language Pathologist
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                                 Elizabeth L. Seelinger MS, CCC-SLP
Elizabeth L. Seelinger MS, CCC-SLP

Elizabeth L. Seelinger MS, CCC-SLP

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.
  • Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Conor E. Steuer MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Conor E. Steuer MD
Conor E. Steuer MD

Conor E. Steuer MD

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley MSW, LCSW

  • Social Worker
Photo of 
                                 Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley MSW, LCSW
Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley MSW, LCSW

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley MSW, LCSW

  • Ms. Tinsley works with the head and neck cancer, and thyroid cancer patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Social Worker, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-7269

J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS

  • Head and Neck Surgeon
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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
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