Head & Neck Cancer

Expert team delivering compassionate care

Head & Neck Cancer Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth

Head and neck cancers may grow quickly if left untreated. The earlier you receive an accurate cancer diagnosis, the more likely the treatment will be successful.

You can rest assured that, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth, an experienced, multidisciplinary team is working together to develop your customized care plan. Your head and neck cancer care team includes physicians from:

Our Tumor Board regularly meets to review your case and discuss your best course of treatment. 

A Team Approach

For effective head and neck cancer treatment, you need a team of specialists on your side. BID Plymouth’s nationally recognized program and expert cancer team includes:

  • Surgeons
  • Medical and radiation oncologists
  • Physical therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Other specialists

We provide compassionate, coordinated care. Our entire team is committed to helping you maintain the best possible quality of life during and after treatment.

If you need further treatments or consultations, our own specialists and physicians at BID Plymouth may coordinate your care with other experts from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Our Head & Neck Cancer Services

BID Plymouth provides a broad range of treatment options to effectively treat head and neck cancers, including brain cancer.


Our nationally recognized surgeons have been trained at academic medical centers. We have extensive experience with both malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous) lesions of the head and neck. This includes:

  • Cancer of the larynx
  • Cancer of the oral cavity, including tongue
  • Cancer of the salivary glands
  • Cancer of the skull base
  • Regional cancer that has spread to the neck
  • Thyroid and parathyroid cancers

Our surgeons are always focused on minimally invasive techniques and organ preservation. We use a variety of reconstructive techniques including regional and free tissue flaps.

When possible, your care team uses chemotherapy and radiation therapy as first-line treatment. If these more conservative treatment options aren’t effective, your care team may recommend surgery.


Chemotherapy is the use of medications to destroy cancer. Our medical oncologists use chemotherapy in a variety of ways for head and neck cancer. We may use it before, during or after surgery or radiation therapy. We also participate in nationally sponsored clinical trials that give you access to leading-edge treatments.


Our radiation oncologists use sophisticated methods and equipment to deliver precise treatments that target tumors while sparing healthy tissue. We offer intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) to treat head and neck cancer. This allows precise contouring and exact targeting of the tumor.


Rehabilitation during and after treatment is an important part of your overall care plan. You may find your speech, swallowing or other functions become more difficult. You’ll work with speech pathologists, therapists, dietitians and other experts to improve your chances of a full recovery.

Support Services

We offer a complement of support services to help you adapt to changes during and after cancer treatment. These include:

  • Coordinated care with dental professionals
  • Nutrition
  • Speech therapy
  • Support groups
  • Swallow function

Learn more about the cancer support services we offer.

Types of Cancer We Treat

Our expert care teams are proud to provide the latest in effective treatment options for head and neck cancers, including cancer affecting the:

  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Mouth
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Salivary glands
  • Sinuses
  • Thyroid
  • Tongue
  • Tonsils
  • Upper esophagus

Meet the Cancer Care Team

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth's team of cancer care physicians is highly trained in a variety of testing and diagnostic areas.