With campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota, Mayo Clinic houses experts in all aspects of head and neck cancer. Doctors in the Head and Neck Cancer Center use the newest and most effective diagnostic options available to ensure you get the optimal diagnosis the first time. With a precise diagnosis, you will work with a Mayo Clinic doctor to review all of your treatment options and determine the treatment that best suits your needs and goals.

  • Surgery. Whenever possible, Mayo Clinic surgeons use minimally invasive procedures, such as transoral robotic surgery, endoscopic skull base surgery and transoral laser microsurgery. These procedures not only result in shorter recovery times but also offer significantly better results than do more-traditional approaches.
  • Radiation. Depending on your condition, you will have access to advanced radiation therapies, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy and proton beam therapy, which is a more precise form of radiation ideal for cancers near other vital organs.
  • Chemotherapy or immunotherapy. In some cases, chemotherapy may be indicated to treat your cancer. However, depending on your needs, you may also have access to other drug therapies, such as immunotherapy and targeted drug therapy.
  • Rehabilitation and overall well-being. Mayo Clinic offers expertise in prosthodontics, oral rehabilitation and audiology. Depending on your needs, you may receive speech and swallowing therapy to facilitate rehabilitation before, during and after treatment. Collaborations with complementary medicine and wellness programs also are available.
  • Research. For people who would like to explore the cutting edge of treatment options, Mayo Clinic conducts clinical trials using novel therapies. Each trial has strict inclusion criteria, which every participant needs to meet before being enrolled.

Mayo Clinic doctors also provide palliative care, which focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms caused by cancer or cancer treatment. At Mayo Clinic, palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support that complements your ongoing care.

Your doctors will talk with you about the tests and procedures that are right for you. Not all services are available at each location. Please confirm when you request an appointment.

You and your doctor choose a cancer treatment plan based on a number of factors, such as your overall health, the type and stage of your cancer, and your preferences.

Mayo Clinic head and neck cancer experts offer comprehensive and compassionate care to people with head and neck cancer. Each year, more than 4,000 people with head and neck cancers receive care at Mayo Clinic. This experience means your doctors are equipped with the knowledge and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need.

At Mayo Clinic, you'll be cared for by a team of specialists from different fields who work together to determine your cancer treatment options. This team approach means your care is coordinated to meet your needs so that you receive the treatment that's best for you. Your treatment plans take your values and preferences into account. A customized care plan that is the best for you is then formulated.

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Find doctors and medical staff:

Arizona

Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)

Radiation Oncology

Florida

Dermatology

Endocrinology

Medical Oncology

Neurosurgery

Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)

Plastic Surgery

Radiation Oncology

Minnesota

Breast, Endocrine, Metabolic, and GI Surgery

Dermatology

Endocrinology

Medical Oncology

Neurologic Surgery

Nuclear Medicine

Ophthalmology

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)

Radiation Oncology

Radiology

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Specialists in the Head and Neck Cancer Program are organized into disease-oriented teams to enhance collaboration, research and patient care.

Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating head and neck cancers, including very rare types. Your care team is prepared with the knowledge and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need.

Mayo Clinic, which stretches across campuses in Rochester, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona, is ranked among the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for ear, nose and throat and cancer care.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets the strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognize scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Mayo Clinic physicians and scientists are dedicated to research that leads to more and better treatments for people with head and neck cancers.

Regenerative medicine

Restoring maxillofacial bone after tumor or trauma can be challenging. The Department of Otorhinolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery is working with colleagues in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery to use stem cells in conjunction with a printed 3D scaffold to grow bone to restore defects in the face and jaw.

Head and Neck Regenerative Medicine Laboratory

The Head and Neck Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Arizona is a translational lab that utilizes all components of regenerative medicine — scaffold creation, stem cell differentiation and acellular therapeutics — to pioneer processes and products for the regeneration of head and neck structures. Efforts from the lab have recently resulted in the first in-human 3D-molded laryngeal implant. Building off of this success, experts are initiating a Food and Drug Administration-approved human clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of the tissue-engineered laryngeal implants. Additionally, lab researchers have established the world's first Larynx and Trachea Transplantation Program. Using this unique translational ability, the lab is developing similar technologies for the full spectrum of head and neck sites.

3D printing

In recent years, 3D printing has become more affordable and highly detailed. Mayo Clinic ear, nose and throat doctors have collaborated with radiologists to generate 3D renderings of potential head and neck tumors, as well as cutting guides and anatomic models. These efforts have elevated the level of surgical care provided to patients while decreasing operative time. The impact of these innovations on operative time, patient outcome and surgical parameters is being evaluated.

Treatment de-escalation for HPV-related oropharynx cancers

HPV-related oropharynx cancer is one of the most rapidly growing cancer types in the United States. Standard treatments often have high cure rates but also have known short-term and long-term side effects. At Mayo Clinic, researchers are focused on developing new treatment techniques that maintain a high cure rate while reducing treatment-related side effects, such as dry mouth and swallowing problems. Several clinical trials are available, and your physician can discuss these with you if you qualify.

Proton beam therapy

Proton beam therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses high-energy protons rather than X-rays to treat cancers. The physical properties of protons can allow for more-precise treatments using proton beam therapy compared with X-rays under certain circumstances. Find out more about proton beam therapy.

Proton beam therapy can be particularly useful for certain head and neck cancers. The head and neck contain many structures sensitive to radiation dose, such as the eyes, brain, brainstem, swallowing muscles, spit glands, voice box and spinal cord. Many of these sensitive structures lie close to areas that may require radiation therapy. Depending on the clinical situation, proton beam therapy may be quite helpful in reducing treatment side effects while preserving the chances for cure. For some head and neck cancers, proton beam therapy may be the best option.

Your radiation oncologist will speak to you about proton beam therapy if this is a good option for your specific cancer. Multiple clinical trials investigating the use of proton beam therapy also may be available.

Aesthetic parotid surgery

It's common for Mayo Clinic surgeons to reconstruct the parotid bed after parotid surgery in order to restore normal facial contour and preserve the facial nerve. Researchers are currently using facial tracking software to better understand how these techniques impact facial appearance after surgery with the goal of having a completely normal facial appearance after removal of salivary glands (parotidectomy) when possible.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

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