Head And Neck Cancer

Cancer of the head and neck region can affect the skin, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and salivary glands. Over 95% of the mucosal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Tobacco and alcohol are the major risk factors for this type of cancer. Human papillomavirus has been recognised as a major aetiologic factor in squamous cell carcinomas of the oropharynx.

Treatment for head and neck cancer is tailored to the patient and may include surgery, radiotherapy and medical therapies. A multidisciplinary approach is required for optimal decision making. Your surgeon is a member of the team who will treat your cancer. This team may involve different surgeons for removing the cancer and reconstructing the resulting defect. Following the surgery you will require a recovery period in hospital and then convalescence at home or in a rehabilitation facility. Many patients require post operative radiotherapy.

Depending on your cancer and other medical problems surgery may be the best treatment option. If this isn’t the case your surgeon will discuss the recommended options and make the relevant referrals.

Following the diagnosis of a head and neck cancer you will be investigated further with CT, PET or MRI scans. The relevant information is discussed with the multi disciplinary team and a treatment plan is made. Once this plan has been formulated it will be implemented in a timely fashion. Often the treatment requires referral for evaluation by other specialists.

Following surgery some patients require radiotherapy and or medical therapy. When the treatment is completed you will generally be kept under close surveillance for 5 years to look for recurrence of the disease.

Generally surgery for head and neck cancer is rebatable through Medicare and standard private health insurance. This does require a referral from your family doctor.


After your consultation, a detailed quote will be provided to you including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee, and hospital fee.

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Please be aware that all surgical procedures require a consultation with our plastic surgeons to allow a thorough assessment and discussion of your specific needs.