Head & Neck Cancer

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute Head & Neck Cancer Program team draws on state-of-the-art procedures and the latest medical technologies to help patients with all types and stages of head and neck tumors, whether cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).

This can include tumors involving the:

  • Ears and skull base
  • Nose and sinuses
  • Throat and larynx (voice box)
  • Oropharynx (tonsils, tongue base and throat wall)
  • Oral cavity (tongue, mouth, palate, gums and jaw)
  • Salivary glands
  • Neck
  • Thyroid and parathyroid glands
  • Skin on the face, neck and scalp

Various support services addressing any functional problems like difficulty swallowing, breathing or speaking that can result from treatment for your cancer.

Connect with a Nurse Navigator

Call 855.255.6181 or request a callback for support, advice, or a second opinion.

Meet Our Team

Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancers

Initial symptoms of head and neck cancers are typically:

  • Asymptomatic neck mass
  • Hoarseness or voice disturbances
  • Difficulty or pain swallowing
  • Throat pain
  • Ear pain

Diagnosing Head and Neck Cancers

Screening for head and neck cancers can start with a self-examination or an exam by your primary care provider. It can include identifying lumps or bumps in the neck or cheek, mouth sores, throat pain, persistent hoarseness and increased difficulty swallowing.

Symptoms of concern might warrant a referral to our head and neck cancer specialists for evaluation. A physical exam might reveal certain abnormalities in the head and neck area. We also use special mirrors and lighting to examine the inside of your mouth and throat.

Treating Head and Neck Cancers

At the Cancer Institute, we offer the most advanced treatment for head and neck tumors. Possible treatments can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination.

As our patient, you’re cared for by a team of experts that can include surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, endocrinologists, dermatologists, dentists and oral surgeons, head and neck radiologists, head and neck pathologists, oncology nurses and advanced practice providers, dietitians and speech language pathologists.

Surgical treatments include:

  • Microvascular reconstructive surgery of the face, head, neck, mouth and throat
  • Transoral, robotic-assisted surgery
  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Conservation surgery
  • Laser surgery
  • Wide local excision

Other treatments include:

  • Hormonal suppression therapy
  • Radioactive iodine therapy
  • Intensity modulated and conformal radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Brachytherapy
  • Chemotherapy/biotherapy

Various support services addressing any functional problems like difficulty swallowing, breathing or speaking that can result from treatment for your cancer.

Head & Neck Cancers
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Head & Neck Cancer News

December 29, 2020

Yes, a Lot Happened in 2020 Besides COVID-19. Like This.

Hard as it may be to believe, life did exist beyond COVID-19 this year and, while many healthcare professionals tended [...]

November 11, 2019

Neuro-Oncologist: Here’s How We Treat Brain Tumors

By Dr. Ahmad Daher Medical Director, Neuro-Oncology Hartford HealthCare Medical Group Patients with gliomas, the most common cancerous brain tumors, [...]

October 08, 2019

Why Head and Neck Cancer Patients Need Speech, Swallow Rehabilitation

By Nicole Silva Speech Language Pathologist Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute According to the American Cancer Society, head and neck cancer [...]

September 09, 2019

Why Younger, Healthier Non-Smokers Now Getting Head, Neck Cancer

The “face” of head and neck cancer has changed over the past 5 years, as the cause of these cancers [...]

September 24, 2018

Free Symposium to Help Brain-Tumor Patients, Caregivers

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute will host the 12th annual Fred Cohen Symposium on Friday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. [...]

June 04, 2018

New Technology Could Help Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

The Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Cancer Institute and the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center are working together to test technology [...]

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute