Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer refers to a group of related cancers. These cancers can affect all areas of the head and neck, including the mouth, nose, throat, voice box, and glands that make saliva. At Michigan Medicine, our specialty trained ear, nose and throat physicians diagnose and treat more cancers than any program in Michigan and is one of the largest programs in the Midwest. 

We also offer evaluations for people seeking second opinions, along with the option of staying with us for your care. You’re in skilled, capable hands with our team.  

Michigan Medicine Head and Neck Cancer Care

At Michigan Medicine, you’ll find effective treatment for all types of head and neck cancers, including the rare and complex. Our approach features:

  • Top care: Our ear, nose, and throat program is ranked among the country’s best by U.S. News & World Report. Michigan Medicine also offers one of the region’s few comprehensive cancer centers. This designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recognizes the Rogel Cancer Center’s exceptional care and scientific leadership.
  • Coordinated care: Head and neck cancer is complex. We coordinate imaging, biopsies, and consultations to reduce your travel burden. This approach helps us shorten the time it takes to make a diagnosis and start treatment. When possible, we can offer telemedicine appointments, for both initial appointments and follow-up appointments.
  • Surgical expertise: We specialize in complex surgeries, including robotic surgery for hard to reach areas in the throat and voice box. We also help restore your appearance and function via microvascular surgery. We perform more head and neck reconstructions than any other program in the Midwest. We frequently use 3D modeling and computer assistance to achieve precise results.
  • Supportive care: Our highly dedicated team ensures you feel supported during treatment and works to protect your quality of life. For example, our speech therapists help you recover so you can talk and eat the way you want. And our social workers provide guidance for concerns such as financial aid and housing. 

Focus on Innovation and Clinical Trials

We don’t just treat head and neck cancer. We also research and investigate it in the hope of finding new treatments. We’re the only program in Michigan that develops its own clinical trials for head and neck cancer. These novel clinical trials are only available here.

Our doctors are also leaders in large research consortiums, national and international groups that help researchers collaborate and share findings. These partnerships are crucial for developing new and improved cancer treatments.

Team-Based Care

A team approach is crucial when delivering head and neck cancer care. These complex cancers often require more than one type of treatment, as well as intensive, ongoing support. 

We meet regularly to determine the most effective treatment for each person we help. We take a thoughtful, personalized approach, with recommendations that account for an individual’s health, tumor type, tumor stage, symptoms, and personal preferences. 

Our team has a wide range of expertise and includes:

  • Head and neck surgeons (otolaryngologists, or ENTs): Specialize in ear, nose, and throat conditions and have additional training in head and neck cancer surgery and reconstruction
  • Radiation oncologists: Offer special expertise in the latest radiation technology to precisely treat your tumor
  • Medical oncologists: Provide specialized chemotherapy treatment to target tumors
  • Imaging and pathology specialists: Use imaging to precisely define the extent of tumors and pathology to evaluate tumor cells and provide an exact diagnosis
  • Speech and physical therapists: Treat physical challenges of head and neck cancer, including speech and swallowing concerns and lymphedema
  • Nurse coordinators: Coordinate care and appointments throughout treatment
  • Social workers: Offer support and a connection to community resources, including housing and financial aid
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation: Evaluate and treat lymphedema, neck fibrosis, and other conditions and long-term side effects
  • Dentistry: Manage tooth removal and implants, if needed, and ongoing dental care after treatment

Make an Appointment

To schedule an evaluation for head and neck cancer, please call us at 734-936-8051. You may also call us to schedule a virtual telehealth appointment.