Cancer Removal

Surgical Oncology Procedures

The earlier cancer can be diagnosed and removed the less chance of a malign tumor from spreading to other parts of the body. Our physicians specialize in head and neck cancer removal and reconstruction.  This means you can rest assured that the cancer will be removed correctly and the reconstruction will look the best and minimize any disfigurement.  Below you will find a list of procedures that we use for cancer removal.  For more info on reconstruction, visit our Moh's Reconstruction page.

Tumor Resection
During a tumor resection, the entire tumor is removed along with some normal tissue surrounding the tumor.  This is to make sure that no cancerous cells remain in the structure around the tumor.  Depending on the location and size of the tumor, it may be accessed through the mouth or an incision in the neck or jaw.

Mohs Surgery
Before we perform the Mohs reconstruction, a mohs surgery must be performed.  During a Mohs surgery, we have partnered with trusted dermatologist that specialize in this procedure to perform the surgery.  During Mohs surgery, small segments are removed and analyzed for cancer cells.  The process is repeated until no cancer cells are found.  This prevents the unnecessary removal of healthy tissue.

Full or Partial Mandible Resection
If the cancer has spread into the jawbone, a full or partial mandible resection is required.  In a partial resection, only the part of the bone that is affected is removed.  However, when dealing with aggressive cancer a full resection may be recommended.

Glossectomy
A glossectomy is a removal of part or the whole tongue.  Depending on the location of the cancer, only part of the tongue may need to be removed and then closed on itself.  Larger tumors may require the removal of the whole tongue.

Maxillectomy
This operation is for cancer affecting the roof of the mouth.  Cancers in the hard palate will be removed and you will be referred to a prosthodontist to create a special denture to fill the hole and will be customized to your mouth.

Laryngectomy
This is the procedure used to remove cancer on the voice box.  This may not remove your ability to speak.  Please contact our office to discuss the techniques used to restore vocal capabilities.

Neck Dissection
If cancer exists in the lymph nodes of the neck, a neck dissection may be needed. Depending on the size and aggressiveness of the cancer one of three neck dissections will be performed. The following are listed in order of increased removal:

  • Partial or Selective Neck Dissection
  • Modified Radical Neck Dissection
  • Radical Neck Dissection

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most common skin cancers?
There are three most common skin cancers:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: The most common form of skin cancer. It is usually found on areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun. Basal cell carcinoma is locally destructive, but rarely spreads into other parts of the body.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Typically found in the uppermost layers of the skin, but can spread throughout the body unlike basal cell carcinoma. This is a much more threatening cancer type and should be found and removed as quick as possible.
  • Melanoma: The most serious common cancer. It starts in the cells that create pigment in the skin, but can spread quickly through the lymph nodes to all parts of the body. Can be treated well if caught quickly enough.

What are some warning signs of cancer?
Any visible change in your skin, should be examined by a trained expert immediately.  Common changes you should look for are:

  • Pimples that are shiny or rough red patches
  • Crusted red areas of swelling
  • Moles that change in shape, color, or size