Clinics & Departments

Head and Neck Oncology

Our TreatmentsFeatures of the DepartmentDoctors and Staff

Our Treatments

The Department of Head and Neck Oncology is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of tumors that develop in the head and neck area. The head and neck area is the region above the collar bone and below the brain.

Specifically, we perform diagnosis and treatment of cancers, including: cancers developing in the ear, nose, throat and oral, salivary gland tumors, thyroid gland tumors, and other tumors in the neck area.

Treatment Methods

The following treatment methods are performed alone or in combination.


Surgery is a treatment method to resect the tumor. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are sometimes performed before or after surgery.


Radiotherapy is a treatment method that kills tumor cells by exposing the radiation to lesion. Radiotherapy in combination with the use of anticancer drugs has recently become a common way to increase the effectiveness of treatment.


Chemotherapy is treatment method that uses anticancer drugs in order to shrink the tumor.

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Features of the Department

Head and Neck Oncology Conferences

Treatment Determined by Number of Experienced Professionals

A treatment plan is proposed to a patient after it is discussed comprehensively by doctors specializing in the head and neck oncology, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, medical diagnostic radiology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and pathology, in addition to the doctor in charge.

The aim of this approach is to provide high-quality treatment by reflecting opinions of specialists in different fields in the treatment plan. In our department, each patient’s diagnosis and treatment are considered in the conference.

Multiple Conferences for a Patient

Depending on the individual circumstances, we hold conferences several times for a patient. This is because the views of various doctors lead to more appropriate and safer treatment. For example, for patients who undergo surgery, we hold a conference to determine the treatment policy, a preoperative conference to discuss a surgical procedure, a postoperative conference to review the surgical procedure.

Diagnosis and Treatment by Specialists

Diagnostic imaging and pathological diagnoses is essential for the cancer treatment. We work together with radiologists, pathologists, and cytologists to improve diagnostic accuracy.

Each physician specializing in the head and neck oncology, radiology, or chemotherapy is responsible for the explanations and treatments in their field for patients.

Thorough Explanations

We try to take sufficient time to explain about the disease and treatment plans including the disease name, its diagnosis, our treatment policies, and effects, risks, aftermaths and adverse effects expected from the treatment.

Use of DVDs

Head and neck cancer surgery is difficult to imagine for patients and their families who have never seen a patient with this cancer. With the cooperation of our patients, we have prepared DVDs of various surgeries for the head and neck cancers, and provide them to patients.

Efforts at Communication

Depending on the disease condition, larynx (speech organ) has to be removed in some cases. Since these patients have difficulty in communication by telephone, staff members (mainly outpatient nurses) in our department communicate by e-mail.

Alleviation of Aftermath by Surgery

The greatest feature of head and neck cancers is that they occur in the area directly involved in eating and conversing, and that they are always in plain sight. It is impossible to avoid physical and functional impairments due to the treatment of these cancers. Since these cancers have a possibility of loss of vocal function, decline in chewing/swallowing function, and facial deformity, the patient may get handicaps in their social life.

We make an effort to alleviate these aftermath caused by surgery. For example, various rehabilitations for inpatients are conducted mainly by nurses. In particular, we provide neck rehabilitation for continuous contraction of neck muscle and motor impairment caused by surgery, and rehabilitation for eating and swallowing disorder. Eating and swallowing rehabilitation is sometimes managed in cooperation with the Oral Rehabilitation Department of Showa University Hospital.

In consideration of the indications, we actively insert an artificial valve (such as Provox) between the esophagus and windpipe to replace the vocal cords of patients who underwent laryngectomy.

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