Banner image

Head and neck cancer care

Allina Health provides full-service, expert diagnosis, treatment and care for people with head and neck cancer. This includes cancer of the mouth (oral), throat, voice box, nasal cavity, sinuses or salivary glands as well as skull-based tumors.  

Your team will include experienced, compassionate health care providers who work together to deliver the highest quality care. Each team member brings deep expertise in their specialty area, and each is fiercely committed to your well-being. 

Learn more

Head and neck cancer care at Allina Health

At Allina Health, we believe in a whole person approach to your cancer care, focusing on your overall level of health. Your team of cancer care specialists works together seamlessly and will include your primary care provider as well as medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer researchers, speech language pathologists, dieticians, physical therapists, nurses, diagnostic imaging technicians and more.  

Your team at Allina Health also will include a dedicated nurse navigator, who will help coordinate your care and be your primary point of contact from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. 

We also want you to play an active role in your care. One way you can do this is through your Allina Health account, an online tool that lets you track your appointments, review your test results and more. 

Diagnosis of head and neck cancer

At Allina Health, your team of health care providers may recommend you have tests performed to diagnose head and neck cancer. Along with a physical exam, tests that may be given by members of your health care team include:  

  • biopsy 

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan 

  • PET (positron emission tomography) scan  

  • video swallow study 

Additionally, many dentists now perform oral cancer screenings during routine dental exams. 

Head and neck cancer treatment options

Your cancer care team will work with you to develop your cancer treatment plan.  The plan is unique to your type of cancer, the stage of the cancer, the risk of the cancer coming back and your general health. Your plan could include any of these cancer treatment options: 

  • chemotherapy - medicine given through an IV (intravenous) line to destroy cancer cells throughout your whole body.

  • radiation therapy -  uses high-energy radiation (X-rays) to shrink or destroy cancer cells. Healthy cells are also affected by the radiation. 

  • immunotherapy - a treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer.

  • surgery - to remove the cancer cells and some normal tissue around it.

Related links

Source: Allina Health Cancer Institute
Reviewed by: Christian Squillante, MD

First published: 5/30/2019
Last reviewed: 11/16/2021