Head and Neck Cancer
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Radiation Oncology for Head and Neck Cancer
At Rutgers NJ Medical School, we see roughly around 300 new head and neck cancers every year, and many of these patients receive radiation therapy as either primary or adjuvant therapy after surgical resection. Our head and neck service is dedicated to the clinical care of our head and neck patients, and in improving treatment for head and neck patients.
Cancer in the head and neck can be extremely challenging and patients benefit from a comprehensive clinical approach, and so we present all cancers to our weekly multidisciplinary tumor board. The Head and Neck Tumor Board, a panel of physicians, nurses and therapists, meets weekly to discuss patient cases. Experts in surgical oncology and reconstruction, radiation oncology, medical oncology, neuro-radiology, pathology, and oral surgery, discuss each patient in order to come up with the best diagnostic and treatment plans. Head and neck cancers can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy or a combination thereof. Patients can be assured that all avenues of treatment options were discussed during this board meeting in order to provide them with the best care.
In the radiation oncology department, we are concerned with patients’ quality of life, as well as treating the cancer. We treat routinely with IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy) to spare normal tissues as much as possible, minimizing dry mouth and swallowing problems following treatment.
Head and neck patients also receive outstanding care during and after treatment with physicians in rehabilitation medicine, as well as experts in speech and language pathology, audiology, social work, nutrition, physical therapy, and respiratory therapy.