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At Atrium Health Levine Cancer, we’ve put together a team of nationally recruited physicians who are focused on using the latest technology and innovative techniques in the treatment of head and neck cancers.

Head and neck cancers usually begin in what are called squamous cells located in moist areas, such as the mouth, nasal passages and throat. Another more rare form of head and neck cancer can develop in the trachea (commonly known as the windpipe). Other cancers found in the brain, scalp and skin, for example, are usually not classified as head and neck cancer.

Head and neck cancer tests and diagnosis

At Levine Cancer, you’ll have access to the latest procedures for diagnosing head and neck cancers. The first step is to get a complete medical history, including symptoms and risk factors, and undergo a physical exam.

Depending on the type of cancer suspected, your doctor may suggest any of the following diagnostic tests:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Bone scan
  • PET scan

Head and neck cancer treatment

Our physicians have access to the latest technologies, treatments and research, and they provide nothing less than the highest quality of care.

Your team of specialists will meet regularly to discuss your case and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Your care team may include a head and neck surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, physical and speech therapists, nutritionist, advanced practice nurse, social worker and patient advocate.

Treatment for head and neck cancers can vary depending on where the cancer is located.

The goal of treatment is to:

  • Rid the body of cancer
  • Reduce the chance of reoccurrence
  • Reduce the chance of the cancer traveling to another part of the body

Common head and neck treatment options include:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor
  • Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells and keep them from growing
  • Chemotherapy to stop cell growth