Neck cancer can affect different parts of your throat and cause problems with swallowing and talking or target your thyroid gland and disrupt your metabolism. If you have neck cancer, Kirk Kanady, MD, and Maria Sosa, MD, of Greater Houston Radiation Oncology can help. They are experts in treating neck cancers using advanced radiation therapy techniques that deliver precise doses of radiation and spare surrounding tissues. The practice has two offices in Houston, Texas, and one in Huntsville, Texas. Call the Greater Houston Radiation Oncology office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
Neck cancer is a term for malignant tumors that develop in your neck. It takes two primary forms:
Throat cancer can affect the throat itself (pharynx), your voice box (larynx), your epiglottis (a small piece of cartilage at the top of your windpipe), or your tonsils. Most throat cancers stem from the same type of cancer cells but have different names depending on where it originates.
Thyroid cancer affects the thyroid gland in your neck. This gland produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism, influencing your weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. There are several types of thyroid cancer, some of which are slow-growing, while others are very aggressive.
The approach to treating throat and thyroid cancer is different:
If you get a diagnosis at an early stage, radiation therapy might be the only treatment you need for throat cancer. Later stage throat cancers might benefit from a combination of radiation therapy with chemotherapy or surgery.
If your thyroid cancer is minimal and has a low risk of spreading, you might not need treatment straight away. Active surveillance involves having blood tests and an ultrasound scan of your neck once or twice every year.
Your cancer might not grow and, therefore, won't need any treatment. If the surveillance exam detects any changes or growth at any point, you can begin treatment. Treatment often involves having surgery.
Following your operation, you might need to take radioactive iodine to destroy any remaining thyroid tissue. The Greater Houston Radiation Oncology team has specialist expertise in using I-131 radioactive iodine ablations for treating thyroid cancer.
Both types of neck cancers can benefit from radiation therapy in their later stages as well.
The Greater Houston Radiation Oncology team uses the latest, most innovative approaches to treating neck cancer.
Treatments such as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) target cancerous tissue with a high degree of accuracy. They deliver the optimal level of radiation to the tumor while minimizing the exposure of surrounding tissues.
These technologies enable the Greater Houston Radiation Oncology team to treat neck cancers that might not have been suitable for radiation therapy before due to the closeness of the spinal cord.
You can find out more about the advanced radiation therapy treatments available for neck cancer by calling Greater Houston Radiation Oncology or booking an appointment online today.