Comprehensive Care for Head and Neck Cancer

Experts at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center offer comprehensive diagnostics, treatment and management for head and neck cancer. Our leading-edge team of doctors includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons who collaborate as a team to review and plan each patient's care. Patients don’t have to leave their own community for head and neck cancer treatment as Skagit Regional Health offers expert cancer diagnosis and treatment services for residents of Skagit, Island and north Snohomish counties.

Understanding Head and Neck Cancer

Cancer of the head and neck is widely categorized based on the site of the head or neck in which it begins. These categories include:

  • Oral cavity
  • Paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity
  • Salivary glands
  • Throat (pharynx)
  • Voice box (larynx)

In head and neck cancer, cells begin to divide and grow abnormally and out of control, creating a mass or tumor and crowding out normal cells. These malignant (cancerous) cells have lost the behavior of normal cells, which die when they are damaged and have “boundaries” keeping them from spreading to the tissue that surrounds them. If left untreated, head and neck cancer can spread to other sites in the body.

Studies show that the risk of developing head and neck cancer increases substantially for people who use both tobacco and alcohol. Infections with cancer-causing strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) is also a risk factor for developing a cancer of the head or neck.

Signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer include:

  • White or red patch on the gums, tongue, or the lining of the mouth
  • Pain when swallowing that does not go away
  • Problems with dentures fitting poorly
  • Swelling of the face, under the chin or around the jawbone

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, contact your primary care provider to determine next steps for screening and diagnosis

Patient Navigator Guides You Through Cancer Treatment

Patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer are guided by our Patient Navigator from consultation through treatment and into survivorship. Your navigator will help guide you through and around the cancer care system to ensure timely care, understanding treatment options and connect you with comprehensive support during your journey.

Your Patient Navigator will assist you with the following:

  • Ensuring you have access to our entire team to provide support, education and financial assistance.
  • Finding answers to your questions and connecting you with reliable, accurate information about your disease.
  • Making sense of a complex healthcare system and ensuring your medical records are transferred in time to each physician.
  • Scheduling you with the right doctors at the right time.

Multidisciplinary Approach to Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

The Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center’s treatment program includes a multi-specialty team of board-certified medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and other professionals who have expertise in the diagnosis and successful treatment of tumors of the head and neck.

Other experts will be part of your cancer care team, if needed, including:

Head and Neck Cancer Treatments

Based on your specific type of head and neck cancer, specialists at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center may recommend the following options in your head and neck cancer treatment:

Support for Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Throughout your diagnosis and esophageal cancer treatment we will help you focus solely on getting well. We are here to answer any questions about our wide range of support services, including:

Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trials

Your medical team will review new and promising clinical trials that specifically treat head and neck cancer. If you meet the clinical trial criteria, you can talk to your oncology provider to see if a clinical trial is right for you.

For More Information About Head and Neck Cancer Care

To learn more about our head and neck cancer services, please contact one of our team members at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center at 360-814-2146. We can help you make an appointment with a cancer care physician at one of our convenient locations.

For more information about head and neck cancer, visit these trusted sites:

American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute