At Virginia Mason, in Seattle, individuals with head and neck cancer benefit from the combined expertise of head and neck and reconstructive surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other specialized providers and staff to provide seamless care throughout your medical treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer you may be experiencing a flood of feelings and concerns. Learning about the disease and treatment options can seem overwhelming and confusing. You will have a lot of information to think through and important decisions to make about your care. Learning as much as possible about what you may experience will help you to cope with the disease, weigh your therapy options and prepare for treatment. Before making a decision, we recommend that you follow these important guidelines:
- Read as much as you can
- Talk with your cancer care team
- Ask lots of questions
- Understand the benefits and drawbacks of the treatments
- Get a second opinion, if you think you need one
- Talk with other individuals who have had various types of treatments
Doing all of this will help you make the decision that’s right for you.
You and your provider will discuss the type of treatment you need depending on many factors including:
- Type, size and location of the tumor
- Whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, esophagus, lungs, liver or bones
- Your functional outcome
- Your age and general health
- Which treatment will give you the best possible chance for a cure or palliation (relief from symptoms of cancer) while assisting our patients to maintain the best quality of life
- Your own desires and decisions; we believe that the patient is the key decision-making member of the care team
For more information about treating head and neck cancer, contact us.