Because cancers of the head and neck, including those found on the underside of the brain or skull base, are extremely rare, they require highly specialized expertise and treatment. At Rush, our team of specialists is committed to treating the whole patient, not just the cancer. We help you fight your cancer using the latest therapies and procedures, and we address the side effects of head and neck cancers and their treatments to help restore your quality of life.
Some patients with head and neck cancers are seen at The Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Head and Neck Cancer Clinic, where head and neck surgeons, neurosurgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists pool their knowledge to create personalized treatment plans. Head and neck cancer patients at Rush may also be cared for by specialists in radiology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and oral oncology.
At Rush, we provide diagnosis and treatment for both benign and cancerous head and neck tumors, including the following:
• Larynx (or voice box) and hypopharynx (or gullet) cancers, which are mostly squamous cell carcinomas
• Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers
• Nasopharyngeal cancers
• Oral and oropharyngeal cancers, which are mostly squamous cell carcinomas
• Salivary gland tumors
Diagnosis | Treatment | Clinical Trials | Resources
If you have a suspected or diagnosed cancer, we are here to help. Call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) to schedule an initial visit or a second opinion.
To detect and treat cancer as well as check for recurrence, doctors at Rush use the most advanced technology available, including the following:
- PET scans, which are the most accurate way to diagnose head and neck cancers and monitor the effectiveness of therapy.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy, which involves injecting a dye and/or radioactive substance near the tumor to locate the lymph node closest to the tumor (sentinel node). The sentinel node is the one most likely to have cancer cells present if the cancer has spread.
Rush offers a full range of treatments for head and neck cancers, from standard therapies to innovative treatment options, and new options are being explored every day.
Physicians at Rush are involved in a number of clinical trials evaluating new treatment options for head and neck cancers. Through clinical trials, some patients can access experimental treatments that are not otherwise available.
- The Cancer Integrative Medicine Program offers complementary and alternative medicine to accompany your medical treatment plan.
- Rush offers a patient navigator to assess individual patient needs and provide information about available treatments, community services and programs.
- The Rush University Cancer Center has partnered with Gilda’s Club to offer a variety of support groups for cancer patients and their families and caregivers. Learn more about Gilda’s Club programs at Rush. For information on other support groups at Rush, visit the Support Groups home page.