Coastal Radiation Oncology Medical Group
world-class cancer care has a local address.

Frequently Asked Questions

All About Radiation Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers

Q. What are head and neck cancers?

A. Head and neck cancer is the term given to a variety of tumors located in the head and neck region including the:
  • mouth
  • throat
  • larynx
  • sinuses and nasal cavity
  • thyroid
  • salivary glands
Also included in this classification are lesions of the skin on the face and neck and the cervical lymph nodes. Tumors of the brain are usually excluded from this definition because they are treated using different approaches.

Q. Are head and neck cancers common? And, are they treatable?

A. According to the American Cancer Society over 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year. Currently, more than 400,000 survivors of oral and head and neck cancer are living in the United States.

Q. What are the side effects of radiation treatment of head and neck cancers?

A. Long term side effects from treatment of head and neck cancers can greatly affect quality of life. Through state-of-the-art treatment planning and radiation delivery, Coastal doctors can often limit the radiation exposure to sensitive normal tissues, such as the salivary glands. We also employ the use of radio-protective agents during treatment to decrease normal tissue reactions and preserve salivary function. These techniques lead to quicker recovery from treatment, improved healing, and better quality-of-life for our patients.

Nutritional and oral care are very important to successful treatment, and you will discuss this with your physician.