Head & Neck Center

Head & Neck Cancer

headcancer.jpegHead and neck cancers account for approximately 3 to 5 percent of all cancers in the United States. These cancers are more common in men and people over the age of 50. It is estimated that about 39,000 men and women will develop head and neck cancer annually.

Most head and neck cancers begin in the squamous cells that line the mucosal surfaces in the head and neck. Head and neck cancers are identified by the area in which they begin.

Typical symptoms of head and neck cancer include a lump or sore (for example, in the mouth) that does not heal, a sore that does not go away, difficulty swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice. The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the person’s age and general health.

Tobacco and alcohol use are the most important risk factors for head and neck cancers. People who are at risk for this disease should talk to their doctor about ways they can reduce their risk and how often to have checkups.

Clinical examination and care, surgery, rehabilitation and regular follow-up care are important parts of treatment for patients with head and neck cancer.


The Oklahoma City ENT Clinic offers extensive experience in the surgical management of thyroid disorders. As surgeons, our physicians have unmatched experience in surgery of the neck. When it comes to both thyroid and parathyroid surgery, our surgeons are among the most experienced in the state of Oklahoma.

Thyroidectomy – the surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland - is indicated for three major reasons, the most common of which is the development of a suspicious lump within the gland. In these cases, initial evaluation typically includes thyroid ultrasound and fine needle biopsy. In some cases, a nuclear radioactive uptake scan is done. Even with these studies, occasionally definitive identification of the lump is not possible. When cancer is suspected, or when the identity of the mass is uncertain, thyroidectomy may be indicated to definitively treat or assess the lump.

Thyroidectomy may also be performed when a large goiter forms and constricts the surrounding structures of the neck. This can cause difficulty swallowing, neck fullness, and a strangulation sensation. Occasionally, a large thyroid can actually push on or deviate the windpipe. In these cases, surgical removal of the thyroid gland may be indicated.

In rare cases, a hyperactive thyroid nodule can form. When this occurs, a single lump in the gland strongly overproduces thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism. When present, surgical removal of this hyperactive nodule is curative of the disease.

In general, patients recover from thyroid surgery very quickly. In most cases, incisions are well-hidden in existing skin creases and are difficult to notice once complete healing has taken place.