Head and Neck Cancer

The best treatment for head and neck cancers is guided by a team of specialists. At the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, our expert cancer team includes surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, physical and speech therapists, and other experts who provide compassionate, coordinated care.

Grant Achatz A combined treatment approach of chemotherapy and radiation therapy saved chef Grant Achatz's tongue from surgery. »Learn more

Our multidisciplinary head and neck cancer team is nationally recognized for outstanding treatment outcomes. For example, 64 percent of our patients with stage IV head and neck cancer survive five years after treatment, compared to the national average of 42 percent. But, just as important, our team is recognized by patients and their families for our extraordinary dedication to helping patients maintain the best possible quality of life, including speech and swallowing functions, during and after treatment.

Head and neck cancers can affect the:

  • Sinuses
  • Mouth
  • Tongue
  • Tonsils
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Upper esophagus
  • Salivary glands
  • Endocrine/Thyroid

More than ever before, new medical advances mean there are better and more treatment options for patients facing this challenging disease. Many patients are able to recover from their cancer and return to their normal lives, thanks to a combination of expertise, innovation, and support.