Head & Neck Cancers

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Newly Diagnosed

If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with a head or neck cancer, you're probably thinking hard about what to do next. Educating yourself about cancer and understanding the various treatment options that are explained on these pages is a good start. However, your most important decision is selecting where to get your cancer treated.

Studies have shown that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. That's why your first choice in a treatment center needs to be the right one. Patients who begin their treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance often have better outcomes than those who started treatment elsewhere. Not only can you expect the best standard of care available, patients at SCCA have access to advanced therapies and treatments being explored in one of the clinical trials for head and neck cancers conducted at SCCA's parent organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine. 

Patients at SCCA have access to the advanced care of the Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Center at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) that attracts hundreds of new patients each year and performs complex reconstructions with great results. In 80 percent or more of the cases, the doctors can save a patient's larynx or voice box.

Every year, some 350 new head and neck cancer patients are evaluated at UWMC. A multidisciplinary Head and Neck Tumor Board, which includes head and neck surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, dental surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, neuroradiologists, and pathologists, meets weekly to discuss the cases and come up with the best treatment plan for each patient.

SCCA is one of only three facilities in the United States to offer neutron therapy, a type of radiation therapy shown to be very effective against salivary gland tumors. If your team at SCCA recommends neutron therapy for you, the unique Clinical Neutron Therapy System (CNTS) is available at University of Washington Medical Center, one of our parent organizations.