Head and neck cancer treatment
Head and neck cancer is a group term for cancer in various parts within the head and neck. The cancer can develop in over 30 areas between the head and neck, it is a relatively common cancer with around 12,000 cases in the UK annually.
Our head and neck expertise:
At Cromwell Hospital, we offer our patients holistic world-class head and neck care provided by world-leading multidisciplinary specialists. We take cancer care seriously and we understand the impact it can have on people’s lives; thus, we ensure a holistic approach to care is always adopted.
We put our patients at the heart of quality care and excellence, and we work effectively as a multidisciplinary team to deliver high quality care and compassion.
One in every 75 men and one in every 150 women in the UK will be diagnosed with oral cancer at some point in their lives. Many patients get a late diagnosis because they fail to see the appropriate specialist at an early stage. It is commonly known that the earlier you get diagnosed, the better your chances are of being cured. Our multidisciplinary head and neck specialists work together with oral medicine consultants in the early diagnosis of cancer and find the suitable treatment plan for white patch Dysplasias or precancers. In order to eliminate these lesions safely and limit their chance of turning into cancer, our world-class head and neck consultants treat them using laser surgery.
Speech, swallowing, eating, and breathing are all significant aspects of quality of life that can be affected by oral cancer and its treatment. At Cromwell Hospital, dietitians and speech and language therapists support every step of the way before, during, and after treatment.
Our head and neck surgeons have extensive experience treating oral cancer patients, and they also deliver reliable and high-quality reconstructions. We provide the best chance for successful oral cancer treatment with the least effects on your health, and for that, we collaborate with the top restorative dentists and speech and swallowing specialists in the UK.
It is estimated that dysplasia, a potentially malignant lesion, is the cause of almost half of mouth cancers. Any area of the mouth’s lining with abnormal cells is referred to as dysplasia. Dysplasias come in the middle of the spectrum between a healthy, normal mouth lining and oral cancer.
In other words, a dysplasia diagnosis represents a chance to take action and possibly stop the development of cancer.
Most frequently, the most recent laser technology is used to treat dysplasias. Lasers speed up wound healing and help patients have fewer side effects.
Removing a tumor alone is not sufficient to diagnose cancer. To lessen the visual effects of cancer treatment, we provide a variety of reconstruction options.
We offer unmatched competence in a range of minimally invasive reconstructive operations, whether you need them as a follow-up to cancer or dental treatments or as a completely distinct procedure.
We use advanced 3D printing technology for different procedures in addition to microvascular surgery and free flap surgery.
We make sure to provide the best treatment appropriate for you depending on your specific case.
Electrochemotherapy (ECT) can be a successful cancer treatment for some patients.
ECT gives hope for symptom relief and a better quality of life if other treatments have failed or if the disease is chronic or recurrent.
ECT is often a day-case operation, performed under a brief general anaesthetic, and is typically well tolerated.
In the past, only high-dose radiation and chemotherapy could be used to treat tumors in difficult-to-reach places, such as the back of the mouth and throat. Simply put, they were outside the scope of traditional surgery. The negative consequences could be severe, irreversible, and disfiguring.
The 21st century, however, offers you new and better possibilities thanks to technology. even more so when it is in our hands.
Our doctors can now expertly treat cancers that were previously untreatable by conventional surgery thanks to the very latest developments in robotics.
Instead of performing traditional open surgery, our doctors can access difficult-to-reach malignancies with a minimally invasive method through the mouth by using the Da Vinci surgical system for transoral robotic surgery (TORS).
Therefore, if you have received a diagnosis that you assumed would require drastic treatment, contact us for expert advice and support.
Non-melanoma skin cancer is by far the most frequent type of cancer in the UK, with about 131,000 cases identified each year.
While exposure to the sun is the primary cause of most skin cancers, there are several other causes and risk factors.
The good news is that skin cancers may nearly always be successfully treated if discovered early. Therefore, we emphasise how crucial it is to get diagnosed as soon as you notice any skin cancer symptoms.
You will receive the highest degree of care possible from our experienced world-class specialists in reconstructive head and neck surgery.
We regularly work with patients whose general outcome has, regrettably, been adversely affected by bad treatment decisions, therefore, if you experience any issues with your salivary glands, it is advised that you consult a head and neck surgery specialist immediately.
This is because benign and malignant conditions require very different surgical methods and are exceedingly difficult for someone without extensive expertise to distinguish between them.
ORN of the jaw can be a debilitating complication for patients and has a significant negative effect on quality of life. It can cause pain, disfiguration, and difficulty eating and swallowing.
Fortunately, our head and neck surgeons have contributed to the development of ground-breaking reconstructive methods to cure this debilitating complication, significantly enhancing the quality of life for many patients.
Therefore, if you’ve had an ORN diagnosis and are concerned, contact us for expert advice and support.
When should you come to see us?
The symptoms of head and neck cancer can vary, depending in which area the cancer has been found. The most common symptoms for:
Oral cancer – Pain, lump or ulcer in the mouth that is consistent and does not go away. Other symptoms include: bad breath, bleeding or sudden weight loss.
Cancer in sinuses – Pain, swelling or numbness in the cheeks, sudden headaches, and loose teeth.
Throat cancer – Where the cancer is present higher up the throat, symptoms include: nosebleeds, headache and blocked nose. For cancers lower in the throat, symptoms include: change in voice, sudden weight loss, sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
These symptoms could be caused by various conditions and may not be directly link to head and neck cancer. If you do have concerns, please see your GP as soon as possible.
What happens if you are diagnosed with a head or neck cancer?
If you receive a diagnosis for a head and neck cancer, such as an oral, throat, laryngeal cancer, you will be supported every step of the way by your consultant and other members of your healthcare team.
Your case will be discussed at a multidisciplinary team meeting. A multidisciplinary team is comprised of a group of experts from different clinical disciplines. They will discuss your test results and personal situation and work together to jointly devise a tailored treatment plan.
Throughout your cancer journey at Cromwell Hospital, you can expect to receive a holistic package of care to help you with the management of the physical, emotional and psychological side effects of cancer. This includes support from clinical nurse specialists, oncology counsellors, a cancer exercise specialist, and many more specialist services.
Treatments for head and neck cancers
Cromwell Hospital has some of the best cancer consultants and treatment facilities available. Depending on your diagnosis and needs, the following treatments may be recommended to you:
Surgery – including both open and robotic surgery
Radiotherapy - Including The MRI-Guided Linac technology
Support - specialist speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and specialist dietitian services.
Eight free counselling sessions for all patients receiving treatment for their cancer that can be accessed at any time during your treatment journey.
The survivorship clinic
At Cromwell Hospital, we established the first of its kind survivorship clinic in the UK, which includes speech therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics, oral medicine as well as surgery. It provides support to patients to navigate their life challenges and obstacles after being diagnosed with cancer and surveillance to help them rehabilitate after the treatment.
The clinic also provides management of the side effects of cancer treatment such as dry mouth, fibrosis after radiotherapy, the dental issues that arise consequently to having had radiotherapy, necrosis of the jaw etc.