Head & Neck Cancer
Lynn Cancer Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital takes a comprehensive
and caring approach to head and neck cancer treatment. When developing
your treatment plan, our team considers all aspects of your disease, including
potential side effects and your overall health.
Head and neck cancers usually affect the tissues and glands around the
mouth, throat and nose. Because of where these cancers are located, we
take extra care in developing a treatment plan that minimizes side effects
We personalize each treatment plan and collaborate with various experts
who are dedicated to doing what’s best for your individual needs.
What types of head and neck cancers are treated at Lynn Cancer Institute?
Our team treats a full range of head and neck cancers, including oropharyngeal
cancers. These cancers form in the middle part of the throat (the oropharynx),
which includes the base of the tongue, soft palate, and tonsils.
We also treat laryngeal cancer (cancer within the voice box or vocal cords)
and cancers that form in the glands and lymph nodes around the throat.
How do Lynn Cancer Institute experts diagnose head and neck cancers?
Our team uses a variety of tests and evaluations to pinpoint your diagnosis.
In many cases, we start with imaging tests, including CT scans or PET/CT scans.
We may also recommend a needle biopsy to confirm the type of tumor. In
some cases, we’ll send this biopsy to a lab for molecular testing.
Molecular tests can help us narrow down the type of cancer.
How does Lynn Cancer Institute treat head and neck cancers?
At Lynn Cancer Institute, we customize treatment to fit your unique needs.
Our team will do everything possible to create a treatment plan that doesn’t
disrupt your quality of life. That means finding therapies that have less
effect on your vocal cords and swallowing ability.
Your treatment plan will depend on your specific tumor type and diagnosis.
Treatment may include:
- Radiation therapy
- Radixact™ TomoTherapy
- Proton therapy
If we determine that proton therapy may be a good option for you, we’ll
work closely with the team at Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health
South Florida to coordinate treatment.
Support services are also an essential part of your treatment plan. These
services can include:
- Nutrition counseling
- Social work support or counseling
- Exercise and wellness classes, including yoga and Tai Chi
When you come to Lynn Cancer Institute for head and neck cancer treatment,
you can expect:
- A caring and comprehensive team that stays with you through every step
of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship
- A patient-first approach that considers your needs and preferences with
every treatment decision
Treatment plans that minimize side effects when possible
I’ve never smoked before, so why do I have head and neck cancer?
While smoking does increase your risk for head and neck cancer, infection
with the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common risk factor for
these cancers. Fortunately, head and neck cancer patients who are HPV-positive
often have a good prognosis (outcome).
Are the side effects of head and neck cancer treatment permanent?
No. Head and neck cancer treatment can indeed come with some challenging
side effects, such as dry mouth, swallowing problems or mouth sores (mucositis).
However, most of these side effects resolve four to six weeks after finishing
treatment. Lynn Cancer Institute also provides a variety of support services
to help you cope with these side effects.
What is Radixact™ TomoTherapy?
The Radixact™ TomoTherapy is a type of image-guided radiation therapy
(IGRT), which combines 3D imaging with highly targeted radiation beams.
The beams are delivered from 360 degrees around your body, which helps
provide more precise radiation treatment.
Head and neck cancer clinical trials
Our team is actively involved in clinical trials studying ways to minimize
side effects of treatment, including dry mouth and mouth sores. We are
also evaluating trials that reducing the intensity of treatment for head
and neck cancer patients who are HPV-positive.
To learn more, talk to your doctor or
view our list of active trials