Our mission is to treat patients with malignant and benign tumors of the head and neck. The combined goal of the Head and Neck Surgery Center is to eradicate cancer while maintaining quality of life issues such as speech and swallowing function.
We are sensitive to the multiple needs of the head and neck cancer patient, so each patient is seen by a team of doctors, including head and neck surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and oromaxillofacial surgeons. Because the head and neck contains many structures vital to daily functions of speech, swallowing, and breathing, the head and neck cancer patient faces many complex issues. Speech pathologists, nutritionists, and audiologists further assist in caring for the head and neck cancer patient to minimize treatment side effects.
As a member of the University of Illinois Chicago Cancer Center, the Head and Neck Surgery Center participates in local and national clinical trials for eligible head and neck cancer patients. The University of Illinois Cancer Center is committed to research on the treatment of oral cancer, and has designated oral cancer treatment as one of the three main foci of the Cancer Center resources. The head and neck surgeon coordinates the care of the head and neck cancer patient. Multidisciplinary coordination allows our patients to benefit from the expertise of the entire Head and Neck Oncology team and to receive cutting edge therapy, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy and clinical trials involving medications that reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
How You Can Help
Some of our patients have lost their ability to speak. There is a small plastic device called a TEP. It gives patients who have lost their voice box due to cancer a chance to speak again. But Medicare and many forms of private insurance don’t cover TEPs. The cost of a TEP is about $300 each. That cost, along with the need to replace a TEP annually (if not more frequently) adds up. You can help these patients literally regain their speech by contributing to the One Voice Fund, a foundation committed solely to restore patient’s ability to speak again.