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Head and Neck Cancer Services

World-class care, personalized for you

Rush's nationally recognized head and neck cancer team is committed to treating the whole person — not just the cancer.

Because head and neck cancers are rare, treating them requires specialized expertise. At Rush, you will receive the highest quality of care from a multidisciplinary team of ENT surgeons, endocrinologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons, and other experts. 

Our team's extensive experience and collaborative relationships enable us to consider all available options — from transoral robotic surgery (TORS) to targeted radiation and drug therapies to advanced reconstructive techniques — and customize a tightly coordinated treatment plan for you. Our goal: effectively treat the tumor while, as much as possible, preserving your appearance and quality of life.

We also offer state-of-the-art treatment for noncancerous head and neck tumors, including lipomas and thyroid tumors.

Second opinion services

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with head and neck cancer and would like a second opinion to confirm your diagnosis and fully explore potential treatment options, we are happy to meet with you. 

Learn more about how to make a second opinion appointment at Rush.

Excellence in Head and Neck Cancer Care

Team care, better outcomes

In Rush's weekly head and neck tumor conference, a team of experts work together to review cases and determine personalized treatment plans for each patient. Research has shown that this approach has a powerful impact on how the tumors are diagnosed and treated, to the benefit of patients.

Less invasive treatments

Head and neck surgeons at Rush use minimally invasive procedures — such as transoral robotic surgery (TORS), sentinel lymph node biopsy and photoimmunotherapy (PIT) — whenever possible to optimize outcomes, promote quicker recovery and reduce scarring.

Rush also offers targeted radiation therapy and targeted therapy drugs, which enable tumors to be treated with less damage to healthy tissue and fewer side effects.

And because our doctors are active researchers, our patients have early access to many new treatments through clinical trials. See a list of open clinical trials for head and neck cancer.

Personalized medicine

The head and neck cancer program is partnering with Tempus, a biotechnology company, to gain a better understanding of the genetics of head and neck cancers and which treatment approaches specific tumors will respond to. This is especially useful for patients who have run out of treatment options, and those with rare cancers, such as skull base tumors and salivary gland cancers.

Nationally ranked programs

The ENT and cancer programs at Rush are consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Access to cancer resources and support

Rush is committed to helping patients and their families cope with the psychological, emotional and spiritual effects of cancer. Learn more about the many support services available to patients with head and neck cancer, and their families, through the Rush University Cancer Center.