The goal of the Head and Neck Oncology team in the UAB Department of Otolaryngology is to provide outstanding patient care in a compassionate, innovative and user-friendly manner.

Treatment

The range of problems managed by the Head and Neck Oncology section includes benign and malignant tumors of the oral cavity, oropharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), sinuses, skull base, salivary glands, and surrounding skin. UAB was one of the first sites nationally to offer transoral robot-assisted surgery (TORS) for use in resection of head and neck tumors. The Endocrine program within Head and Neck Oncology is also very active, managing surgical treatment of the thyroid and parathyroid glands using a minimally invasive approach. The overall volume of cases managed by UAB Head and Neck Oncology is among the largest in the United States.

Collaboration

The Head and Neck Oncology is also part of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the original 13 centers in the US designated by the National Cancer Institute. The broad inter-disciplinary team includes surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, dentists and prosthodontists, speech pathologists, nurses, and nutritionists. Navigation through the maze of appointments and specialists is facilitated by full-time patient care coordinators. Cancer care may involve multiple types of treatment delivered by multiple specialists at UAB and regionally. Nurse coordinators assist patients at each step by providing education, resources, schedules, and contact information for questions or concerns that may arise during or after treatment.

Head and Neck Cancer Support Group

Informational Flyer 

The UAB Head and Neck Cancer Support Group meets the third Thursday every other month at 4 p.m. to discuss problems that affect head and neck cancer patients. Both patients and non-patients of UAB are welcome. We encourage family and friends to attend as well.

Each meeting we will discuss a different topic.
July 2019 topic: "Swallowing after Surgery and Radiation" - lead by Duane Trahan, SLP

For information on dates, location, parking and RSVPs, please visit the link to the flyer above.

Research

Members of the Head and Neck Oncology team also desire to continually improve the care that patients receive. A broad range of investigative efforts is ongoing, including laboratory-based research developing new cancer treatments and identifying improved methods of tumor detection; clinical trials designed to improve cure rates and minimize side effects; protocols to study and improve quality of life following cancer treatment; and public health projects designed to eliminate cancer disparities in underserved groups.

In cooperation with the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Department of Otolaryngology has many clinical trials evaluating novel therapies in head and neck and cancer and related disorders. The trials include first-in-human therapies, or therapies that have been well established in other cancers and are now being evaluated for use in the diseases of the head and neck. The clinical trials available change every few months and represent cutting edge cancer treatments via national cooperative groups and investigator-initiated therapies. For example, first-in-human therapies such as TORS for head and neck cancer, new gene delivery therapies, and novel devices to detect cancer early are treatment therapies that were developed at in the Department of Otolaryngology.