According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year. The Comprehensive Head and Neck Cancer Program at Baylor Scott & White – Fort Worth combines medical expertise and advanced solutions for treating patients with all stages of head and neck cancers.
The primary focus of our program is the development and implementation of strategies to detect and treat cancers of the head and neck. Distinguished in their field, the head and neck surgeons on our medical staff participate in clinical research, teaching, and national presentations and publications on head and neck cancer treatment and reconstruction.
Our Thorough Approach
Our program has a multidisciplinary team that includes dedicated head and neck surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists on the medical staff, along with nurses, speech and physical therapists, dieticians and social workers. We take a team approach from diagnosis through rehabilitation and recovery.
Following a thorough diagnostic evaluation, an individualized treatment plan will be developed based on the exact location of the tumor and the stage of the cancer, among other factors. Treatment approaches include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy if appropriate.
Types of Head and Neck Cancer Treated
- Lip, oral cavity, tongue and pharynx
- Mandible and maxilla
- Salivary glands
- Paranasal sinuses and orbit
- Nasal cavity
- Skull base tumors and tumors of the ear
- Skin cancer
We want you to focus on your treatment and recovery. That’s why a key component of the Head and Neck Cancer Program is Patient Navigation. The program’s dedicated nurse navigator provides patients personal care guidance by coordinating medical and supportive care appointments from diagnosis through recovery.
The nurse navigator also communicates with your health care team and can answer any questions or concerns you have about your care and help resolve insurance matters.
Advanced Technology, Advanced Techniques
We offer a full range of advanced diagnostic tools designed to assist physicians in staging and following head and neck cancer, as well as determining the best course of treatment. These tools include:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Interventional radiology including angiography and embolization
- Video Stroboscopy
Along with outpatient radiation and chemotherapy services at Baylor Fort Worth, advanced technologies - many of which are minimally invasive - aid in the precision of targeting and treating head and neck cancers include:
- Robotic Surgery
- Philips Brillance
- Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Laser Surgery
da Vinci Surgical System
The da Vinci® S HD Surgical System allows greater surgical precision without the use of incisions in many instances. The da Vinci integrates 3-D endoscopy with advanced robotic technology, virtually extending the surgeon’s eyes and hands into the surgical site.
For certain head and neck cancers of the tongue, throat lining and voice box, robotic-assisted surgery with the da Vinci technology may be the most effective and least invasive treatment choice. Benefits include:
- A safe and effective, minimally invasive approach
- Tumor removal through the mouth with no external incisions
- Minimal or no need for chemoradiation therapy
- Minimal blood loss and discomfort
- Fewer complications
- Shorter hospital stay versus open procedures
- Quicker recovery
- No visible scarring
Baylor Scott & White – Fort Worth provides compassionate, supportive care through interdisciplinary teams that may involve speech pathology, physical and occupational therapy, nutrition guidance, and spiritual care.
Support services may help individuals cope with the physical as well as the emotional aspects of cancer.
The Wayne Tidwell Voice, Speech and Swallowing Center: specializes in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services to help rehabilitate vocal deficits and teach preventative care of the voice.
George Kemble MD Rehab Center: staff members teach patients how to maintain or recover physical capacities by offering occupational and physical therapy, psychological counseling, as well as nursing and social work services.
Education: An informed patient is a prepared patient. Our team helps to educate patients about the different types of head and neck cancer as well as various treatment options.
Psychological and Emotional Support: available for head and neck cancer patients through licensed counselors.
Social Work Services: identifies and mobilize resources, links patients to community resources, assists with alleviating stressors, and develops coping strategies.