With cancers of the head and neck, tumors are very close to vital structures and these cancers, and their treatment can affect your function — how you speak, breathe, eat — as well as your appearance, your face, and your smile. Treating head and neck cancers and restoring patients to normal function and appearance is extremely complex, but at Roswell Park, we do it every day.
Why Roswell Park for head & neck cancer?
We were among the first to combine head & neck surgery, plastic & reconstructive surgery, dental care, maxillofacial prosthetics, and speech and swallowing services into one seamless program.What sets us apart
The latest surgical advances
We offer critical surgical approaches unavailable from other providers, such as skull base surgery and free flap reconstruction surgery, and renowned surgeons with the skills and expertise to perform them.Learn about treatments
Our beautiful new center
Our new state-of-the-art outpatient center, with a bright and airy, ergonomic design, was designed specifically around the treatments, services and supportive care for patients with head & neck cancers.Learn more
Cancers of the Head & Neck
Oral cavity cancers, including the mouth, tongue and lips, are the most common type of head and neck cancer, and tongue cancers are the most common type of oral cancer. More than 25,000 oral/lip cancers are diagnosed in the U.S. every year.
Cancers in the throat can include cancers in the upper part of the throat (behind your nose), the tonsils, base of the tongue, and the soft palate. Increasingly, these cancers are linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The larynx (voice box) is a short passageway that is formed from cartilage in the neck. The larynx contains the vocal cords which allow you to speak.
Cancers can occur in the nasal cavity, the hollow space inside the nose, or in the paranasal sinuses, the small hollow spaces in the bones of the head surrounding the nose.
The salivary glands produce saliva, the fluid that keeps the mouth and throat moist and starts the digestive process. The major salivary glands are located in the floor of the mouth, under the jaw and on the side of face, but you also have numerous minor salivary glands throughout your mouth and throat.
The base of your skull involves several bones that form the “floor” for the brain and separate the brain from the eyes, ears, sinuses and other parts of the head. Skull base tumors can be either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). These tumors can grow close to critical blood vessels, nerves and the brainstem. Pituitary gland tumors are a type of skull base tumor. This small bean-shaped gland that produces hormones and influences nearly every body system, regulating growth, blood pressure and reproduction.
The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland sits at the front of your throat, underneath your voice box or “Adam’s apple,” and manufactures hormones. Thyroid cancer is relatively uncommon, accounting for only 1% of all types of diagnosed cancers. It occurs in people of all ages. In most cases, it can be treated effectively, and patients can look forward to a normal lifespan.