Head & Neck Cancer Program
About Our Head & Neck Program
Your head and neck are home to not only the brain and parts of the spinal cord, but a bona fide command center where breathing and digestion are initiated; where thoughts and emotions are conveyed through expressions, words, speech, even singing. It’s the region of the body largely responsible for how you survive, interact, and find emotional, social, and spiritual fulfillment.
This is why it’s important that you trust your head and neck cancer to a team who can give you everything you need, and anticipate those needs in real time. Our robust team includes:
- Expert ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons who can remove tumors and repair their damage
- Radiation oncologists who can shrink stubborn lesions next to vital or fragile structures
- Medical oncologists who deliver medicines that can stop cancer cells from dividing
Our multidisciplinary team of physicians ensures you can get specialized, comprehensive care without having to leave our campus in the heart of Phoenix. We also have speech-language pathologists on staff who will work to help you retain your ability to eat, drink, and speak.
In addition to our experienced team of head and neck oncology experts, you will have access to a top, globally-ranked center for neurology and neurosurgery, along with the complete medical specialties at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
We know that the prospect of fighting head and neck cancer can be frightening, but it’s not one you have to face alone. Call (602) 406-6949 to speak with our nurse navigator, and find an ally in your fight.
Our comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program is focused on getting the best outcomes for you and your loved ones.Griffin Santarelli, MD
Director, Head and Neck Cancer Program
The Barrow Head & Neck Cancer Difference
A Complete Team of Oncologists
Most head and neck cancers require close collaboration among physicians in each subspecialty. As such, our oncology care is broken into three subspecialties:
- Surgical Oncology
- Radiation Oncology
- Medical Oncology
These oncological specialists are supported and reinforced by an extensive patient care team that includes:
- Social workers
- Speech language pathologists
At Barrow, our ENT and skull base surgeons have specialty training in the diagnosis and surgical removal of head and neck tumors. They are also trained in procedures and techniques to help maximize your ability to speak, eat, and drink, as well as uphold your physical appearance. These include:
- Transoral robotic surgery (TORS)
- Transoral laser surgery (TLM)
- Free flap and microvascular reconstruction
- Minimally invasive, endoscopic surgical techniques
In addition, our radiation oncologists harness the most advanced tools for radiosurgery: Gamma Knife and Cyberknife. By delivering precisely focused beams of radiation, these treatments can be used to finish off remnants of cancer cells that might be left after surgery, or to shrink tumors and make them more amenable to surgery. Finally, our medical oncologists are trained to use cutting-edge medicines to stop cancer cells from dividing, while keeping you comfortable and maximizing your quality of life during treatment.
Individualized Care to Preserve Appearance and Function
A truly comprehensive head and neck cancer team isn’t solely focused on removing and shrinking tumors—head and neck lesions and their treatments can also impact vital structures like the nose and sinuses, tongue and mouth, the throat, and glands in the mouth and neck.
At Barrow, our team of speech-language pathologists work to ensure our patients retain the ability to speak, swallow, and convey emotion whenever possible, even after complex surgical procedures. What’s more, our ENT surgeons excel in flap and reconstructive procedures to preserve your appearance, and your ability to express yourself.
Expertly-Guided Technology Means a Speedier Recovery
The mouth and throat are crowded, complicated areas that have traditionally demanded complex and difficult procedures, even for highly skilled head and neck surgeons. Yet the advent of robotic technology, along with 3D guidance systems, have greatly increased the ability to remove these tumors using minimally invasive approaches.
At the Barrow Head & Neck Cancer Program, our ENT surgeons use this technology to precisely and painstakingly remove head and neck tumors while minimizing time spent in the hospital and in recovery. In the event of larger tumors, our team of surgeons is skillfully-trained in the use of 3D imaging and computer aided design (CAD) techniques to optimize both function and appearance after surgery.
Supporting and repairing your personal command center is no small task—but it is one we’re capable of expertly addressing. Allow us to be both your colleague and companion on this journey.