MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is a national leader in cancer treatment and discoveries that make a difference in how cancer will be prevented, treated and cured in the future. Here, you are more than the sum of your symptoms. We call it care of the whole person. We believe true healing occurs when we help restore your physical and emotional well being.
The MUSC Head and Neck Cancer Program includes:
If you have been referred to the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center for the Head and Neck Tumor Program, you can find comfort in the fact this program is the most comprehensive of its kind in the state. In fact, few centers in the country are organized to offer this level of multidisciplinary expertise.
Patients are assigned to a head and neck nurse coordinator. This health care professional provides patients and their families a resource for all phases of their care. Patients of the Head and Neck Tumor Program have access to special services including:
- Access to national cancer studies - such as the latest in chemotherapy and radiation treatments
- Head and neck cancer surgery for high risk patients
- Organ preservation of the tongue and voice box
- Highly advanced computerized three-dimensional planning for radiotherapy
- State-of-the-art laser therapy
- Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT)
- Interstitial High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
- Reconstructive surgery
- Maxillofacial prosthodontics
- Thyroid/parathyroid surgery
- Placement of implants that deliver high-dose, accurate radiation treatments
- Treatment for tumors in children
- Skull-base surgery
- Skin Cancer
- Cancer of the Ear and Temporal Bone
- Video stroboscopy - camera assisted view of throat
- Comprehensive speech and swallowing rehabilitation
- Imaging studies for swallowing disorders
- Dietary and nutritional counseling
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Social work and support groups
- Access to national head and neck cancer information
- Smoking cessation classes
What to expect on your first appointment
The primary reason for your first appointment is to gather information. It is important to bring or ask your physician to send x-rays, scans, biopsy slides, and all medicines and medical records. We will discuss your medical history, conduct an exam and review x-rays.
Experienced physicians, pathologists and radiologists combine expertise to accurately diagnose the extent of an individual's illness so the best treatment plan can be developed.
Specialists from every component of the Head and Neck Clinic team meet weekly to review newly diagnosed patient information. Recommendations are made on how to utilize or combine surgery, chemotherapy, radiology or other therapies to create the most beneficial approach for the individual. Treatment plans can also be created to allow patients to be treated close to home. By working closely with referring physicians, patients receive the most convenient and supportive care possible.
In the not-so-distant past, it was common that patients with cancer of the head and neck region suffered significant loss of function when the tongue or voice box had to be removed. Advances in reconstruction and innovative techniques to prevent the loss of an organ system are providing patients with improved function, more natural contouring and increased mobility and ability to articulate.
Recovery and Follow-Up
Physical and occupational therapists help patients to adapt to changes in their abilities to speak or swallow. An important part of a patient's care goes well beyond the post-operative and recovery period. Ongoing follow-up visits to the Head and Neck Clinic are scheduled conveniently to meet the patient's needs. Support groups, smoking cessation classes and other services that help address the psychological, social and financial concerns associated with surviving cancer are available to patients and their families.
Referral to the MUSC Head and Neck Clinic
Your primary care physician or specialist can refer you to the MUSC Head and Neck Clinic. You may also arrange your own appointment. Ask to speak with the Head and Neck Oncology Coordinator.
At the Hollings Cancer Center, we care and we communicate. To schedule an appointment call 843-792-9300.