Our Approach to Head and Neck Cancer Care

The Johns Hopkins Difference

The treatment of head and neck cancer can be complex. Treatment must address the tumor and your overall health. The Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Center experts include a wide array of medical specialists who will provide you with innovative, compassionate care to give you your best chances of cure with targeted, personalized approaches and maximum quality of life. World-class researchers uncover a deeper understanding of causes and new treatments informing your care for a personalized plan.

Our multidisciplinary group leads in the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous (and non-cancerous) tumors of the head and neck. We offer cutting edge diagnostic studies, especially for diagnostic dilemmas, treatment plans and clinical trials. Our group has been at the forefront of understanding the molecular underpinnings of tongue, larynx, salivary and HPV-related head and neck cancers of the tonsils, base of tongue, and sinonasal cavity.

Collaboration and Personalization

Multidisciplinary medical experts meet weekly to review new and follow up cases, share insights on treatment, clinical trial options and reach consensus on a personalized treatment plan.

World-Renowned Experts

What does it mean to be an expert? Our team members are internationally recognized as clinical and research leaders. Our faculty teach at major conferences and medical institutions around the world. They have made key advances in the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer.

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Minimally Invasive Care

When possible, our experts recommend treatments with minimal impact to healthy tissues. Treatment may include surgeries performed through the mouth, robotic-assisted surgeries or highly targeted radiation such as proton beam therapy.

Addressing your Head and Neck Cancer

Cancer care may require an array of treatments. These treatments can be combined for optimal outcomes, depending on the case. Learn more about our team of treating specialists:

Head and Neck Cancer Surgery

Our surgeons are experts in the surgical care and management of head and neck cancers. Our specialized skills provide surgical expertise and a deep understanding of the pathway of cancer care and survivorship. With you from the start, our cancer surgeons coordinate your treatment.

Radiation and Medical Oncology

Radiation and medical oncologists work together to plan the timing and order of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other targeted cancer treatments that aim to eliminate the tumor.

HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancers

Our multi-d group specializes in HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer to diagnose, treat and prevent HPV-related head and neck cancers. Understanding your HPV (human papillomavirus) status informs your treatment options and how you may respond to different treatments. We have deintensification clinical trials for HPV base of tongue and tonsil tumors.


Pathologists review biopsies of tumors and tissue from surgeries to diagnose and stage cancers. They also perform specialized tests to most accurately diagnose your conditions.

Managing the Effects of Cancer Treatment

Once the cancer has been treated, you may require additional care. Johns Hopkins offers a breadth of services to help you feel like you again. Learn more about our care specialists.

Head and Neck Reconstruction

Some head and neck cancers may require reconstruction at the time of surgery or after treatment to restore your appearance and function of the affected area. Reconstructive procedures may include bone, muscle or skin transfer from another area or use of custom facial prosthetics.

Speech-language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists can help you restore or develop compensation strategies for swallowing and speech issues resulting from the cancer treatment.

Dental Rehabilitation

Changes in your teeth or mouth may require dental care such as special toothpaste, implants, bridges or prosthetics. Our dental experts understand the consequences of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy on the complicated structures within the mouth to provide advanced dental care.

Palliative Medicine

Treatment for head and neck cancers may involve a consultation with a supportive medicine specialist. Your palliative medicine specialists will spend time with you to make sure that you and your family can fully match your treatment options to your personal needs and goals and ensure comfort.

Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Program

The Survivorship Program for Head and Neck Cancer Patients funds a variety of services to help those with head and neck cancers, their families and their caretakers to learn how to live with this disease. The Program supports an annual patient education day, in which patients and others can attend lecturers from Johns Hopkins physicians about advances in care and the latest research. The Program also helps provide materials to educate newly diagnosed patients, including a book about head and neck cancer written by caregivers in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. The Survivorship Program will also eventually help patients through web-based education and videos. For questions about donating to the Head and Neck Survivorship Program contact: Donna S. Clare, CFRE Director of Development, Phone: 410-955-0173