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If you’ve been diagnosed with head and neck cancer, we know how overwhelming that can be. But at CHI Saint Joseph Health, we combine compassionate care with the most advanced technology available to help you fight the condition with confidence.

Each of our cancer centers across Kentucky is staffed by some of the region’s leading cancer specialists. Together, this dedicated team—which may include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, highly trained nurses, dietitians, social workers and more—will work with you to create the best possible treatment plan.

We focus on caring for the whole you—mind, body and spirit—and offer access to a full range of cancer support services to guide you throughout your journey.

Learn more about our treatment options below. To request a referral to one of our caring specialists, call 844.303.9355 or find a head and neck cancer specialist online.

Types of Treatment We Offer

Treatment of head and neck cancer depends on many factors, including the type and stage of the cancer (early or advanced), how treatment will affect the way you talk, breathe or eat, your overall health and your personal feelings about certain treatments and possible side effects. Our goal is keep you feeling well throughout the process without major changes to your usual routine.

Your personal treatment plan may include one or a combination of:


Surgery may be used to take out the cancer and an edge of healthy tissue around it. In some cases, all or part of the tongue, throat, voice box wind pipe or jaw bone may need to be removed. Surgery may also be used to take out lymph nodes in the neck that haven’t gotten better with other treatments.


Radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays to shrink or kill cancer cells. Radiation may also be used to help prevent recurrence of disease. These brief, painless treatments can be specifically directed at the part of the body where the cancer is located. Treatments are delivered by linear accelerators, where patients lie on a table in a specially designed room.

CHI Saint Joseph Health uses the most advanced technology available to target the tumor with extreme precision. Treatments include 3D conformal therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated radiation therapy (VMAT).  Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and use of a hexapod table ensure treatments are focused directly on the target, while minimizing dose to surrounding healthy tissue.

Many patients will have a custom device created in order to help the head remain still during treatment.  These plastic ‘masks’ are painless, easily applied and removed, and tolerated even by patients with claustrophobia.


Chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells with powerful medicines delivered in varied cycles through either an IV or a pill. It may be used to shrink a tumor before surgery, to kill cancer cells that remain in the body after surgery or radiation, to treat tumors that have developed in other areas or to relieve symptoms when the cancer cannot be cured. Whenever possible, CHI Saint Joseph Health uses newer medications that help maximize results and minimize side effects.


Recent FDA-approved drug therapies give people the ability to fight head and neck cancer using the body’s natural defense mechanism: the immune system. Immunotherapy works by making hidden cancer cells visible to the immune system, allowing white blood cells to fight and kill the cancer.

Find a Provider

Find a primary care provider or specialist near you in our extensive network of clinics and hospitals.