The three main types of treatment for managing head and neck cancer are radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy. The primary treatments are radiation therapy or surgery, or both combined; chemotherapy is often used as an additional, or adjuvant, treatment. The optimal combination of the three treatment modalities for a patient with a particular head and neck cancer depends on the site of the cancer and the stage (extent) of the disease.
A laryngectomy is surgical removal of the larynx, also called the voice box. One important function of the larynx is to protect the airway by ensuring that swallowed foods and liquids pass down the esophagus instead of going into the lungs.
A Radial Neck Dissection refers to the removal of all lymph node groups extending from the inferior border of the mandible superiorly to the clavicle inferiorly, from the lateral border of the sternohyoid muscle, hyoid bone, and contralateral anterior belly of the digastric muscle medially, to the anterior border of the trapezius muscle laterally. Included are all lymph nodes from levels I-V with sacrifice of internal jugular vein, sternocleidomastoid muscle, and spinal accessory nerve.
- Learn more about Radial Neck
Thyroid surgery is used to treat thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and hyperthyroidism. During this procedure, part or all of the thyroid gland is removed. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck.
- Review the Overview on Thyroid Surgery prepared by the American Thyroid Association
- Learn more about Pediatric Thyroid Cancer
- Search for Thyroid Problems in the Patient Library
- Search for Thyroid Cancer in the Patient Library
Parathyroid surgery, or a parathyroidectomy, is a procedure during which the doctor removes part or all of your parathyroid glands.
There are four parathyroid glands located on the outside borders of the thyroid gland in the front of the neck. The parathyroid glands help control the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood. When over-activity of the parathyroid glands develop, it is called hyperparathyroidism. This causes increased levels of calcium in the blood. You might experience muscle weakness, premature thinning of the bones, kidney stones, decreased alertness, frequent urination, and occasional joint discomfort.