Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

Treatment for head and neck cancer depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the patient's age and overall health. If you have been diagnosed with head, neck, or thyroid cancer, the physicians at Mount Sinai’s Head and Neck Institute will discuss all treatment  options thoroughly with you, taking into consideration your medical history, daily routines and quality of life.

The complex and delicate nature of the mouth, jaw and throat structures affected by head and neck cancers drives the need for multiple specialists focusing on each aspect of your care. At Mount Sinai, our multidisciplinary head and neck team collaborates with you and each other to optimize your outcome. Treatments for head and neck cancers encompass TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS), open surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Depending on the stage and type of your cancer, a combination of surgery and medical and/or radiation oncology may be recommended. 

TransOral Robotic Surgery for Head and Neck Cancers

Dr. Eric Genden, Chair of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Mount Sinai Health System\ was the first head and neck surgeon in New York State to employ minimally invasive TORS for oropharyngeal cancers more than 10 years ago. Since then, he and his head and neck oncology team have grown this service into the largest Head and Neck Robotic Surgery Program in the country. Mount Sinai is the premier care destination for this minimally invasive service, as the team of surgeons teaches this technique to other surgeons and has authored books and published numerous papers on this subject.

The DaVinci Robotic System utilized at the Head and Neck Institute is a single port (SP) system with all instrumentation close together for deeper access, increased control and reduced risks. The SP system also contains Next Gen cameras for heightened surgical visualization. Patients who are candidates for TORS experience various benefits compared to traditional open surgery:

  • Less postoperative discomfort
  • Shorter hospital stays (1-2 days versus 7-14 days)
  • No visible scarring
  • Speedier recovery
  • Faster return to speaking and swallowing
  • Reduction of possible complications
  • Reduction of chemotherapy and radiation 

Medical and Radiation Oncology

Our dedicated head and neck medical and radiation oncologists work side-by-side with the head and neck surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, speech and swallowing therapists and nutritionists with the goal of maximizing your treatment, while minimizing toxicity. This includes a concentrated effort on preserving both form and function of the sensitive mouth, jaw and throat structures, and mitigating side effects.

The medical and radiation oncologists employ the most effective medication and modalities to help every patient live cancer free for as long as possible. Recognizing that chemotherapy and radiation therapy (radiotherapy) are tough treatments, we have a vigilant Medical and Radiation Oncology Surveillance Program during and post-treatment to monitor side effects and a unique Hydration Program to avert unnecessary hospitalizations and treatment delays and maximize outcomes. 

Why Choose Mount Sinai for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

Highlights of Mount Sinai’s head and neck surgical, medical and radiation oncology services include:

  • Renowned head and neck surgeons
  • Largest Head and Neck Robotic Surgery Program in the nation
  • Unparalleled experienced with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer treatment
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Utilization of the most effective medication available
  • Aggressive Hydration Program
  • Innovative Surveillance Program
  • A support team who will be with you the entire process

Our goal is to treat each patient’s head and neck cancer safely and aggressively using the least invasive approach, while minimizing symptoms throughout this process.