The Head and Neck Oncology Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey provides state-of-the-art, comprehensive care for patients with benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck region. Head and neck cancers as a group encompass a wide variety of conditions that can affect any organ of the area from skin of the face to the oral cavity, salivary glands, nose and sinus cavities, larynx (voicebox), pharynx (throat) and esophagus. With such concentration of organs critical for appearance, voice and speech, swallowing and nutrition, and smell and taste, cancers of the head and neck area present a unique challenge both for a patient and a cancer practitioner.
A multidisciplinary approach to treating head and neck cancers is paramount. Every patient’s case is reviewed by a team of experts who work together to develop a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan based upon the best available scientific evidence. This team consists of fellowship-trained head and neck oncologic surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancers. We work very closely with speech language pathologists specially trained in pre-treatment assessment and rehabilitation of speech and swallowing function of head and neck cancer patients. Importantly, our program also includes nutritionists, oncology nurses, nurse navigators, and physical and occupational therapists who assist patients at every step of the way from diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation in order to achieve the best possible result. Research studies consistently show that best head and neck cancer outcomes are achieved at high volume centers where specialized expertise and experience in managing this challenging disease is available.
The Program offers the most advanced minimally invasive surgical and radiation treatment techniques currently available including transoral robotic surgery (TORS), transoral laser microsurgery (TLM), endoscopic skull base surgery, microvascular free flap reconstruction and proton therapy.
Patients of the Head and Neck Oncology Program are also evaluated for multimodality treatments and participation in clinical trials, some of which are only available at National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers.
Who Are Speech-Language Pathologists, and What Do They Do?
Speech-language pathologists, also called SLPs, are experts in communication. SLPs work with people of all ages, from babies to adults, and treat many types of communication and swallowing problems. Learn more