Head and Neck Cancer
The Maine Medical Center Head and Neck Cancer program is a collaborative effort involving a multidisciplinary team of providers, including head and neck surgeons (typically referred to as ear, nose and throat doctors or otolaryngologists), oral and maxillofacial surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and prosthodontists. The Head and Neck Cancer team meet on a regular basis to review diagnostic results, discuss staging and treatment options, and collaborate on the optimal plan of care for newly diagnosed patients.
The term "head and neck cancers" refers to a broad category of cancers occurring in the head or neck region, including:
- nasal cavity
- mouth (commonly referred to as oral cancer)
- salivary glands
Read about cancer of the head and neck.
Maine Medical Center provides access to experienced specialists and the latest treatments for head and neck cancers, including the following:
- Sophisticated imaging technology and tools to conduct a complete evaluation and ensure an accurate head and neck cancer diagnosis, such as Chest X-Rays, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan, Barium Swallow, Endoscopy and Biopsy.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy which enables the delivery of high radiation doses to the cancerous cells in the head and neck, while sparing tissues and organs.
- Minimally invasive surgical techniques, when appropriate.
- Chemotherapy, including targeted therapies as appropriate.
We recognize that treatment can affect many aspects of life physically, emotionally and financially. At Maine Medical Center, we have many support services to address the unique needs of patients with Head and Neck cancers.
- The Oncology Dietitian is available to help patients assess their current nutritional status; maintain strength through treatment and into recovery. She can facilitate evaluation by a speech and language pathologist and help manage feeding tubes in the event patients are unable to swallow adequate nutrition.
- Oncology social workers are available to provide a wide range of services including counseling and coping skills as well as directing patients to resources for transportation, financial counseling, and tobacco cessation.
- In addition to these services, the American Cancer Society, in partnership with the Cancer Institute, provide additional resources to help patients diagnosed with cancer.