North Shore LIJ

North Shore - LIJ Cancer Institute

Center for Head and Neck Oncology at North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute

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With a focus on prevention, early detection and progressive treatment of all stages and types of head and neck cancers, the diagnostic and therapeutic experts at the Center for Head and Neck Oncology — part of North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute and the New York Head and Neck Institute — take an individualized approach to each patient.

The challenges that accompany a diagnosis of cancer of the head or neck are many. In order to address them, the Center has developed a culture of coordinated care with experts from a wide range of disciplines who treat the whole patient — from initial evaluation to the therapies and support that recovery from many of these visibly traumatic diseases requires.

The Center for Head and Neck Oncology is one only a handful of head and neck cancer centers in the Northeast and the only dedicated program on Long Island.

A Full Team of Experts

Our specialists are preserving function and quality of life for patients and leading cutting-edge research programs in collaboration with The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Patients receive consistent, coordinated care from our distinguished specialists, including:

    • Head and neck surgeons
    • Skull base surgeons
    • Plastic and reconstructive surgeons
    • Endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons
    • Radiation oncologists
    • Medical oncologists
    • Neurosurgeons
    • Gastroenterologists
    • Psychiatrists
    • Neuroradiologists
    • Pathologists
    • Dentists and oral maxillofacial surgeons
    • Oral pathologists
    • Oral and maxillofacial prosthodontists
    • Physiatrists
    • Speech pathologists and swallowing specialists
    • Nutritionists
    • Social workers
    • Nuclear medicine physicians

Clinicians and researchers actively collaborate on every case to develop personalized treatment options based on the specific characteristics of each patient’s tumor.

Expert Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

The Center for Head and Neck Oncology offers a variety of advanced techniques and innovations to treat complex solid tumors, as well as thyroid and parathyroid cancer and non-cancers.

Following an initial evaluation, the patient leaves our office with treatment recommendations, an all-inclusive plan and personalized educational materials, including contact numbers and appointment times with specific team members.

  • By providing multidisciplinary care, we focus on the individual needs of each patient.
  • The program’s dedicated nurse navigator provides patients with personal care guidance by coordinating all medical and supportive care appointments from diagnosis through recovery.

Our growing clinical repertoire of chemotherapy, radiation and robotic technology enables specialists to deliver increasingly novel treatments. Our advanced techniques include minimally invasive endoscopic skull-base, microlaryngeal and parathyroid surgery in the treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors of the mouth, throat, larynx, nose, sinuses and skull base. We also treat patients with head and neck melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

We also offer TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS), a minimally invasive, robotically assisted surgical approach to removing small tumors through the mouth. Unlike traditional surgery, TORS improves long-term speech and swallowing function, reduces the risk of infection, reduces blood loss and morbidity and speeds recovery time. After the cancers are removed, patients regain swallowing function sooner and can leave the hospital earlier. TORS is offered for:

  • Oropharyngeal cancers — squamous cell carcinoma at the base of tongue and tonsil; associated with cancers induced by HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Minor salivary gland cancers of the oropharynx (middle part of the throat) and larynx
  • Robotic assisted nasopharynectomies, a procedure to treat nasopharyngeal carcinoma, the most common cancer found in the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat)

Other program highlights include:

    • Tumor banking program — Storage of samples of blood, tissue and saliva from all head and neck cancers, as well as thyroid and advanced skin cancers, enables research that will ultimately lead to new treatment modalities.
    • Supportive care — The Center’s supportive care program offers a dedicated liaison who connects patients with the therapies and support they need to manage issues that develop as a result of their disease and treatment, including swallowing problems, speech problems, pain management, respiratory problems, problems opening the mouth (trismus) and lymphedema (fluid retention).

Research and Clinical Trials

We are one of the only centers in the nation to offer clinical trials utilizing radiation and chemotherapy for both HPV-positive as well as HPV-negative disease.

We are one of the first centers in the nation to formally study the use of highly focused stereotactic radiosurgery to intensify treatment to high-risk head and neck cancers of the oropharynx.

Cancers We Treat