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Head and neck cancer

We treat the full range of head and neck cancers and are recognised for our expertise in diagnosing and managing these conditions.

Our highly-skilled and multi-disciplinary team of clinical experts from a variety of related fields work closely together to provide treatment carefully tailored to you for the best results.

Through our affiliation with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, our clinicians are some of the most experienced in the country working in a large head and neck cancer service at a major London institution.

Our head and neck cancer service at Charing Cross and St Mary’s hospitals sees private patients from across the UK and all over the world because:

  • Our highly specialist team of clinicians is led by a group of dedicated head and neck cancer surgeons and oncologists who diagnose and treat all aspects of head and neck cancer. They work closely with specialist pathologists and radiologists for precise diagnosis.
  • We have a world-leading reputation in treating sinonasal cancers (tumours at the base of the skull) and are experts in both soft tissue and bone-based reconstruction.
  • We use innovative techniques such as trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS) for oropharyngeal cancer (cancers of the throat and mouth) and robotic thyroid surgery.
  • We are committed to treating head and neck cancer while maintaining your quality of life. Our team includes highly-skilled plastic and reconstructive surgeons, dietitians, clinical nurse specialists and speech and language therapists and we will support you by restoring your appearance and normal function such as swallowing and speech as far as we possibly can.
  • We always take an evidence-based approach to treatment and will choose the very best approaches for you, which may or may not involve surgery.

Your head and neck cancer diagnosis

Head and neck cancer covers many different cancers which start in the mouth, nose, throat, larynx (voice box), salivary glands, or neck. The most common types are oral or mouth cancer and thyroid cancer.

Once you are referred to us for private treatment, our specialist pathologists will perform an expert analysis of blood tests, cells and tissue samples complemented by the use of the most advanced scanning and imaging technologies to make an accurate diagnosis of your cancer and help our clinicians develop the best possible treatment plan for you.

Your treatment

As one of our private patients, you will be cared for by a large consultant-led team of experts in their field, including surgeons, oncologists, specialist head and neck radiologists, pathologists, dietitians, speech and language therapists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, and specialist nurses.

Your consultant will discuss with you the full range of treatment options, depending on the type and complexity of cancer you have, so that you are involved at every stage and an individualised treatment plan is developed to achieve the best possible outcomes.

The main treatments are:

Cancer surgery

We perform the full range of procedures and are skilled in minimally-invasive surgery as well as traditional open surgery. Our team of surgeons have some of the highest levels of experience and training in the UK. Our minimally-invasive techniques include robotic-assisted surgery which is suitable for some patients with oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the throat and mouth) and which may lead to a quicker recovery and improved functional outcomes such as better swallowing.

We have an international reputation in surgery for skull base (sino-nasal) cancers and patients are regularly referred to us from around the UK when other centres have not been able to treat them.

We are committed to treating your cancer in the best way possible and to maintaining your quality of life. Our head and neck surgeons work with plastic and reconstructive microsurgery to perform procedures with the aim of restoring your appearance, speech and swallowing. We use 3D printing of models of the facial bones to guide reconstruction and achieve the best results.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy, which uses x-rays to destroy cancer cells, can be the main treatment for head and neck cancer or can be used after surgery.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can be given before surgery to shrink the tumour or in conjunction with radiotherapy. Our treatments include targeted therapies which are newer types of anti-cancer drugs which target cancer cells with specific characteristics rather than healthy cells and this can lead to a better response to the treatment.

Research

Many of our clinicians are involved in a broad programme of trials through our affiliation with Imperial College London. Our ongoing research includes comparing different types of therapies, (for example, comparing different types of chemotherapy with that can be added to radiotherapy) to produce treatment protocols with the best outcomes.

Our involvement in research means that as one of our private cancer patients you will have access to the latest technologies and therapies and the best approaches to treating head and neck cancer.

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More information on the following conditions

We also treat bladder cancer, cancer of unknown primary, cancer of the liver, cancer of the gallbladder and bile ducts, pancreatic cancer, 
prostate cancer, skin cancer, trophoblastic disease and urological cancers.