The surgical oncology department of CARTI specializes in providing the highest quality clinical care for patients with head and neck cancer. Surgery is often the primary treatment for patients that are newly diagnosed with cancer. CARTI’s surgical oncologist, Dr. Scott Stern, works in conjunction with both medical and radiation oncologists to provide a comprehensive team approach for the treatment of head and neck cancer.
The goal of CARTI’s surgical oncology department is to identify patients with head and neck cancer and to personalize treatment plans that promote the best outcome.
Patients with head and neck cancer can undergo various types of treatment. Some patients may only require surgery. Others may need to have chemotherapy or radiation alone. Still others may require a combination of two or three of the treatment modalities.
When being treated by the surgical oncologist, the initial step is to identify the problem and to formulate a plan of care. The plan of care includes discussing the available treatment options and reviewing the possible side effects. If surgery is warranted, the surgical oncologist provides an in-depth review of what the surgery entails as well as what to expect following surgery.
Regardless of what the plan of care involves, CARTI’s surgical oncologist and his team provide continuity of care both during the course of treatment and after its completion. The surgical oncologist continues to follow the head and neck cancer patient after treatment to monitor for changes, address complications, and identify any long-term effects of treatment.
CARTI’s surgical oncology department also employs a full-time speech language pathologist. The role of the speech pathologist is to provide evaluation and treatment of various complications that may occur before, during, or after treatment. The speech pathologist’s primary emphasis is on prevention of any complications associated with head and neck cancer. These could include difficulty swallowing or difficulty with speech production. With the addition of these services, CARTI strives to provide comprehensive care to patients, working together to bring the fight to cancer.