Head & Neck Cancer Treatment

Treatment for head and neck cancer may involve surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, depending on the stage of the cancer when it is first diagnosed. Accurate staging is very important in patients with head and neck cancer as distant metastatic disease or the presence of a secondary primary tumor can render the patient inoperable.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be very effective in some head and neck cancers, and a rapid assessment of treatment response by PET/CT imaging can help physicians determine if these treatments are working. If chemotherapy and radiation therapy are effective then patients may be able to avoid disfiguring and expensive surgery.

A PET/CT scan can show where tumor cells are growing, which helps the doctor determine the best course of treatment.