Head and Neck Cancers

Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Oral cavity, pharyngeal, and laryngeal cancers account for about 3% of new cancer cases in the United States. Alcohol and tobacco abuse are common etiologic factors in some of these cancers. Moreover, because the entire aerodigestive tract epithelium may be exposed to these carcinogens, patients with head and neck cancer are at risk for developing second primary neoplasms. Stage at diagnosis is the most predictive factor of survival. Important new updates to the NCCN guidelines for 2008 include the addition of chemo/radiation therapy as an option in adjuvant treatment for several head and neck cancers and the addition of human papilloma virus testing to the workup. This version of the guidelines is limited to tumors arising in the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, nasopharynx, and glottic and supraglottic larynx. The complete version can be found on the NCCN Web site at www.nccn.org

For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit NCCN.org

Since its inception in 1972 as one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers, Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center has been at the forefront of efforts to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer through patient care, clinical research, laboratory investigation, and education. Every activity the Cancer Center undertakes—from basic research to clinical trials to educational programs—is aimed at improving the care of cancer patients. U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked Duke among the nation's top centers for cancer care and the top cancer center in the South. In 2007, patients with cancer accounted for approximately 9,000 inpatient discharges and 184,000 outpatient encounters, including 100 to 120 chemotherapy patients each day. Drawn by the Cancer Center's national and international reputation, Duke's oncology patients represent virtually every county in North Carolina and every state in the nation.

The Cancer Center's leadership includes (left to right, second photo on the cover) Medical Director Thomas D'Amico, MD, Administrative Director Carolyn Carpenter, and Director H. Kim Lyerly, MD. Joseph Moore, MD (third photo), is a member of the nationally renowned staff.

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