Northwestern Medicine doctor checking a patients head and neck area

Treating disorders of the head and neck

In partnership with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital is proud to be ranked as one of the top 16 cancer programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report

  • Northwestern Memorial is ranked 1st in both the Chicago Metro Area and in Illinois for the sixth consecutive year, with 11 of its clinical specialties nationally ranked and four in the top 10.

In addition the Lurie Cancer Center is:

  • One of only 47 National Cancer Institutes (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation. NCI is one of the anchors in the nation’s cancer research efforts to fight cancer.
  • A founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 27 of the world's leading cancer centers dedicated to quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives.

Our program

Northwestern Medicine Head and Neck surgeon viewing a scanThe Northwestern Medicine Head and Neck Program provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for patients with benign or malignant (cancerous) tumors of the face, head and neck. Head and neck cancers often affect swallowing, speech, hearing and can have major impact on a person’s quality of life.

The Northwestern Medicine Head and Neck Program provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach. It is one of the few head and neck programs in the Midwest with highly specialized experts dedicated to the care of the patients that are facing cancer of the head and neck.

We value building relationships with our patients and delivering individualized care based on each patient’s unique needs. Our experienced surgeons are dedicated to the management of complex head and neck cancers utilizing the benefits of minimally invasive techniques and recent advances in drug therapy to maximize the likelihood of a cure while still preserving long-term quality of life. Head and neck cancers often affect swallowing, speech, hearing and can have major impact on a person’s quality of life. Head and neck cancer can affect:

  • Sinuses
  • Mouth
  • Tongue
  • Tonsils
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Upper esophagus
  • Salivary glands
  • Endocrine
  • Thyroid

The Northwestern Medicine Head and Neck Program provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach. It is one of the few head and neck programs in the Midwest with highly skilled specialists dedicated to the care of the patients that are facing cancer of the head and neck.

We value building relationships with our patients and delivering individualized care based on each patient’s unique needs.

Our multidisciplinary team

Northwestern Medicine Head and Neck surgeons operatingOur experienced surgeons are dedicated to the management of complex head and neck cancers utilizing the benefits of minimally invasive techniques and recent advances in drug therapy to maximize the likelihood of a cure while still preserving long-term quality of life.

Our team members specialize in minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, focused radiation techniques including image-guided radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery, all of which are designed to attack the cancer while minimizing damage to normal tissues. When treatment of cancer demands more extensive surgery, our experts in reconstructive surgery can use advanced microvascular techniques and computerized virtual surgical planning to achieve the best cosmetic and functional outcomes.

We make every effort to ensure that the details of each patient's cancer, medical conditions and social background are considered by the team of physicians and staff to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that fully meets the needs of the patient and the family.

Our team includes specialists across many medical disciplines, working collaboratively to bring leading-edge care to our patients. Our multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Head and neck surgeons
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Oral surgeons
  • Speech and swallowing pathologists
  • Neuro-radiologists
  • Maxillofacial prosthodontists
  • Physical therapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Pathologists

Our team is recognized by patients and their families for our extraordinary dedication to helping patients maintain the best possible quality of life, including speech and swallowing functions, during and after treatment.

Research

At Northwestern Medicine Head and Neck Program, we are always striving to find more effective ways to cure cancer and improve quality of life.

You may be offered an opportunity to participate in a research study or a clinical trial. The objectives of the study, expected benefits, any risks, and alternatives to participation will be explained to you in detail as part of an informed consent process.

The extent of your involvement in a study can vary from simply responding to structured questionnaires to participating in a trial of new drugs or devices. You always have the choice of not participating in research and your refusal to enroll will never affect your ability to obtain best available standard care.

Certain newer investigational therapies or drug combinations may however only be available to patients enrolling in particular clinical trials.

Please click here to view the trials that are currently available to patients with cancer of the head and neck.


Conditions

Treatments

Northwestern Memorial Hospital U.S. News & World Report Best National Hospital, Cancer 2017-2018 graphic.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Nationally recognized in Cancer (16th)

Learn more about the Northwestern Medicine Head and Neck Program

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