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About Head and Neck Cancers

Head and neck cancers are defined generally as squamous-cell carcinomas arising from the mucosal surfaces of the oral cavity, sinuses/nasal cavity, pharynx (upper part of the throat), or larynx (voice box). Most patients present with a lump in their mouth, throat, tongue, or neck. Sometimes this lump is associated with symptoms such as problems swallowing. In the past, head and neck cancers were mostly seen in older patients with a history of heavy tobacco and alcohol use. More recently, we have seen a rise in cases of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated head and neck cancers caused by exposure to HPV type 16. These HPV-associated head and neck cancers typically arise approximately 10 to 30 years after exposure

Treating Head And Neck Cancers

Improved methods of delivering radiation therapy and the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy together have improved the survival rate among patients with head and neck cancers, especially those with HPV-associated cancer. There are also new biologic medications that allow the immune system to attack cancer, and they are particularly useful in several types of head and neck cancers.

We Treat All Stages of Head and Neck Cancers

  • Early-stage head and neck cancers
  • Locally advanced head and neck cancers (spread to lymph nodes or organs around the neck)
  • Metastatic head and neck cancers (spread to distant organs)
  • Recurrent head and neck cancers
  • What We Do
  • Target the tumor
  • Do not put fragile healthy tissues including heart, lungs, lymph nodes and any other affected organ at risk
  • Improve the effectiveness of radiation and/or systemic therapy
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How does Hyperthermia Therapy Work?

Hyperthermia, when combined with radiation therapy, increases the likelihood of a complete response in head and neck cancers. During hyperthermia treatment, targeted heat disrupts cell membranes and increases blood flow to the tumor, making the tumor more sensitive and vulnerable both to your body’s natural immune defenses and to other cancer therapies.

Hyperthermia therapy benefits include:

  • Increases blood flow to tumors creating a high-oxygen environment, which makes radiation therapy work better
  • Allows for chemotherapy to penetrate deep into the center of the tumor where it otherwise has difficulty reaching
  • Can stimulate an immune response reaction within the tumor improving your body’s ability to fight cancer

Early Treatment Makes A Difference

Optimally, hyperthermia treatment is initiated as soon as the patient begins receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Adding hyperthermia can maximize the effectiveness of your therapeutic regimen without risking sensitive surrounding organs. This means the larynx (voice box), esophagus, trachea and the many nerves and arteries in the neck are not adversely affected by adding hyperthermia to treat head and neck cancers.

Head & Neck Cancer

Hyperthermia when combined with radiation therapy, increases the likelihood of a complete response in head and neck cancers.

Radiation Therapy Alone
Radiation Therapy + Hyperthermia
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Head & Neck Cancer Treatment Statistics

Breast Vernon CC et al. and van der Zee et al., Int. J. Radiation Oncology Biol. Phys. 1996; 35(4) 731-744 Head & Neck Valdagni et al., Int. J. Radiation Oncology Biol. Phys. 1994; 28: 163-169 Melanoma Overgaard J et al., Int. J. Hyperthermia 1996; 12(1): 3-20 Cervical van der Zee et al. Int. J. Hyperthermia 2002; 18(1): 1-12

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