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Conditions We Treat: Head and Neck Cancers

External beam radiation is the most common radiation therapy used to treat head and neck cancers, including cancers in the throat, tongue, tonsils and larynx. Brachytherapy (internal radiation) is occasionally used to treat head and neck cancers that are located in a well-defined region. At Johns Hopkins, our radiation oncologists are anatomy experts who are experienced in treating head and neck cancers using a personalized, results-driven approach that minimizes pain and damage to nearby body structures.

Head and Neck Cancers: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

Doctor Harry Quon with patient
  • Anatomy experts: At Johns Hopkins, our radiation oncologists specialize in head and neck anatomy. A deep understanding of this complex area is required to tailor treatment to target the cancer cells without harming nearby structures. We have developed special techniques that shape the radiation around the eye and only treat a portion of the throat and voice box. Our team includes several fellowship-trained physicians who have additional years of training in head and neck anatomy and special radiation techniques.
  • Results-driven care: We use a comprehensive database to track the cancer outcomes for each patient we treat. We’ve been using this database to develop advanced predictive analytics that allow us to continue to personalize and improve treatment. As a result, we are learning from each individual patient.
  • Pain management: Our radiation oncologists understand the pain that may result from radiating the head and neck area and its potential impact on swallowing. We don’t use feeding tubes so that patients can actively swallow throughout radiation treatment. Only about 1 to 2 percent of our patients experience swallowing complications after radiation treatment. Instead of using high-potency narcotics to control pain, we use low doses of safe, trusted pain medications. Our radiation oncologists have also incorporated a novel approach to managing pain that allows our patients to eat and perform their other daily activities as close to normal as possible.
  • Personalized, multidisciplinary approach: Our physician team works together to closely examine the patient and create a personalized treatment plan. Our radiation oncologists take the time to listen to patients and learn about their background, building a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for personalized, effective cancer treatment.
  • State-of-the-art examinations: Our radiation oncologists are skilled in using our state-of-the-art fiber optic scopes to examine the head and neck area.
 
 
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410-502-8000

Our Team of Head and Neck Cancer Specialists

Our radiation oncologists create and deliver personalized treatment plans that target head and neck cancers safely and effectively.

Photo of Dr. Ana Ponce Kiess, M.D., Ph.D.

Kiess, Ana Ponce, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Head and Neck Cancers, Head and Neck Tumors, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Oncology, Skin Cancer, Skin Cancer of the Head and Neck, Thyroid Cancer
 
Photo of Dr. Brandi Rachel Page, M.D.

Page, Brandi Rachel, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Brain Cancer, Brain Tumors, Head and Neck Cancers, Image-Guided Radiation Therapy, Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Radiation Oncology, Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, Stereotactic Radiosurgery
 
Photo of Dr. Harry Quon, M.D.

Quon, Harry, M.D.

Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
Associate Professor of Oncology
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Head and Neck Cancers, Radiation Oncology
 

Our Head and Neck Cancer Treatments

Our radiation oncologists use the following types of external radiation techniques to treat head and neck cancers with gamma radiation:

Our Research

Gloved hand injecting liquid sample into test tube
  • Our researchers have been leading efforts to develop deintensification strategies, which help reduce the dose of radiation used, to treat some of the most common head and neck cancers. In fact, Johns Hopkins was the first medical center in the U.S. to open a clinical trial for testing deintensification strategies. Reducing the dose of radiation helps minimize side effects for patients.
  • Our researchers have been investigating how antibody-based radiation therapy can be used for the imaging and treatment of salivary gland cancers, which are very resistant to conventional radiation. 

Our Locations

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Johns Hopkins offers several convenient locations throughout the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region that provide radiation therapy for head and neck cancers.​

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center – Bethesda 

Learn more about our locations.

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Maryland Patients

410-502-8000

 

Traveling for Care?

Whether you're crossing the country or the globe, we make it easy to access world-class care at Johns Hopkins.

Outside of Maryland (toll free)
410-464-6713

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Medical Concierge Services

International Patients
+1-410-502-7683

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