Head & Neck Cancer

State of the art surgical procedures, the latest drug therapies and leading-edge medical technologies for head and neck cancer treatment.

The Head and Neck Cancer Program at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute offers the most comprehensive care for patients with all types and stages of head and neck tumors – benign and malignant.  Through screening, diagnosis, staging, treatment, support and long term clinical care, your multidisciplinary team of physicians and healthcare providers, combine their expertise to offer you an individualized treatment plan. Additionally, as the charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, our partnership means the Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute can bring the most innovative, evidence-based cancer care and clinical research directly to you, in our community. 

Head and neck cancers account for approximately 4% of all cancers in the United States, and are more than twice as common among men as among women. These cancers are most often diagnosed in people over the age of 50. It is estimated that over 65,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancers annually. 

We treat tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous involving the

  • Ears and Skull base
  • Nose and Sinuses
  • Throat and Larynx (Voice-box)
  • Oropharynx-Tonsils, tongue base, and pharyngeal wall
  • Oral Cavity-Tongue, mouth, palate, gums and jaw
  • Salivary glands
  • Neck
  • Thyroid Gland and Parathyroid Glands
  • Skin cancers of the face, neck and scalp
  • Other tumors of the head and neck area

Head and Neck Program Leadership:

Clinton Kuwada, MD

Co-Director, Head and Neck Cancer Program
Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgeon      

Akshay Patel, DO, FAOCO

Co-Director, Head and Neck Cancer Program
Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgeon

To learn more about our program, please call our Head and Neck Nurse Navigator at: 860.972.6000 or 855.255.6181.

 
When you hear the word cancer, there’s a whole range of
emotions that washes over you – shock, anger, fear.
 

Head & Neck Cancer Specialists

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A Multidisciplinary Team Offers Comprehensive Care

Our Head and Neck Cancer clinical team is highly specialized in conditions of the Head and Neck and meets routinely to develop a comprehensive care plan for each patient’s unique issues. 

Our fellowship-trained Head and Neck surgeons offer specialized expertise in surgical techniques to include micro-vascular reconstructive surgery, and skull-base surgical procedures. Our Radiation Oncologists use advanced techniques to maximize the treatment of Head & Neck cancer while minimizing side effects.  Medical oncologists use targeted protocols to maximize treatment effects from surgery and/or radiation. As a cancer research center, clinical trials are an integral part of our program and are recommended when appropriate.

Other members of the care team may include Endocrinologists, Dermatologists, Dentists and Oral Surgeons, Head and Neck Radiologists, Head and Neck Pathologists, Advanced Practice Providers, Oncology Nurses, Nurse navigators, Research associates, Registered Dieticians, Speech Language Pathologists and Social Workers. Our team also has the resources of our partner, Memorial Sloan Kettering, to draw upon in treating difficult Head & Neck cancer cases. Working together, our team will guide your care and support you during and after treatment.


What Are Head & Neck Cancer Symptoms?

Patients with initial symptoms of Head and Neck cancer often notice an asymptomatic neck mass, hoarseness or voice disturbances, difficulty or pain with swallowing, throat pain, or ear pain. Community physicians are encouraged to refer patients with concerning symptoms to our Head and Neck Cancer specialists for evaluation.


What Are Treatments for Head & Neck Cancer?

Hartford HealthCare offers the most advanced treatment for Head and Neck tumors. Treatment often includes a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Additionally, we offer patients many support services to address functional problems such as difficulty with swallowing, breathing and speaking following treatment. Some of the specific services offered at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute are:

  • Oncologic Surgery
  • Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery of the Face, Head, Neck, Mouth, and Throat
  • Transoral Robotic Assisted Surgery
  • Conservation surgery
  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Laser surgery
  • Wide local excision
  • Hormonal suppression therapy
  • Radioactive Iodine therapy
  • Intensity Modulated and conformal radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Brachytherapy
  • Chemotherapy/Biotherapy
  • Research (clinical trials)
  • Swallow studies
  • Speech and swallowing therapy
  • Physical therapy 

What Are Risk Factors for Head & Neck Cancer?

The biggest risk factors for head and neck cancers are alcohol and tobacco use (including smokeless tobacco). These risk factors cause at least 75% of head and neck cancers, with the exception of salivary gland cancers.

Using both tobacco and alcohol gives you an even greater risk of developing head and neck cancer than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone.

Infection with cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV), especially HPV type 16, increases risk for some types of head and neck cancers, particularly oropharyngeal cancers of the tonsils or tongue.


Meet our Head & Neck Cancer Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Alsamarai, Susan, MD
4.9 /5
96 surveys
203.238.7747
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Meriden
Boey, Howard Patrick, MD 203.777.7500
  • Otolaryngology
  • Meriden
Bonaiuto, Gregory Salvatore, MD 860.493.1950
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
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  • Hartford
  • Wethersfield
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Boyd, Timothy Stephen, MD 860.972.2803
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Hartford
Cavanagh, Norman James, MD, DMD 860.548.7338
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
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Chu, Benjamin, MD
4.8 /5
54 surveys
860.249.6291
  • Medical Oncology
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Hartford
  • Avon
  • Hartford
  • Willimantic
  • Willimantic
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Dowsett, Robert James, MD 860.545.2803
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Hartford
Giove, Lawrence M., MD 860.246.6647
  • Medical Oncology
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Wethersfield
Goldman, Jonathan F., DMD 860.242.6142
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Bloomfield
  • West Hartford
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Googel, Fredric Ronald, DMD 860.666.5674
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Newington
Hosmer, Wylie David, MD
4.9 /5
146 surveys
860.621.9316
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Southington
  • Bristol
  • Plainville
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Khan, Anwar Mangey, MD 860.827.4161
  • Radiation Oncology
  • New Britain
Kuwada, Clinton Akira, MD 860.493.1950
  • Otolaryngology
  • Head & Neck Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Wethersfield
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Lele, Uday Chintamani, MD
4.9 /5
40 surveys
203.238.7747
  • Medical Oncology
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Meriden
Lieblich, Stuart Edward, DMD 860.674.8079
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Avon
Melnik, George Anthony, MD 860.224.2631
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
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  • New Britain
  • Southington
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Moeller, Carl William, MD 860.493.1950
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
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  • Hartford
  • Wethersfield
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Nadkarni, Rajani P., MD
4.9 /5
156 surveys
203.238.7747
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Meriden
Patel, Akshay V., DO, FAOCO 860.493.1950
  • Otolaryngology
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
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  • Wethersfield
  • Hartford
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Piorkowski, Robert Joseph, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
158 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Hartford
  • Wethersfield
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Rathmann, Joerg, MD 860.496.6825
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Medical Oncology
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  • Torrington
  • Avon
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Reiner, Steven S., DDS 860.347.6939
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Glastonbury
  • Middletown
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Rutter, Charles E., MD 860.972.2803
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Hartford
Ryan, Lawrence Patrick, DDS, MD 860.295.8780
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Marlborough
Salner, Andrew, MD 860.972.2803
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Hartford
Schauer, Peter Kevin, MD, FACP
4.9 /5
108 surveys
860.249.6291
  • Medical Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Hartford
  • Avon
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Shafer, David M., DMD 860.679.2583
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Farmington
Sharma, Vipra, MD 203.382.0630
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Bridgeport
Stock, Alden Lawrence, MD 860.224.2631
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
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  • New Britain

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute