The treatment of head and neck cancer can be a complex undertaking. It involves not only issues of survival, but also concerns about cosmetic results and functions such as vision, smell, hearing, speech, and swallowing. To meet these diverse needs, The Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Center experts include a wide array of medical professionals. These professionals include specialists in surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, endocrinology, radiology, pathology, speech therapy, plastic and reconstructive surgery, dental and maxillofacial prosthetics, nutrition, and pain management. The team also includes professionals who can help patients and their families to cope with the emotional and practical aspects of the disease.
This comprehensive team approach ensures that patients have access to specialists during every aspect of their disease. Each patient's treatment planning takes into account all facets of their care and considers the entire range of treatment options. For example, the team holds weekly multidisciplinary clinics and tumor board conferences to discuss complicated cases, share insights on treatment and reach consensus for a patient’s individualized treatment plan. Many of the professionals on the team are internationally recognized as leaders in research and treatment of head and neck cancer. These professionals frequently hold seminars for visiting physicians and also lecture at major conferences and institutions around the world.