We are a multidisciplinary team work collaboratively in the care of Head and Neck cancer patients. These include Consultant Surgeons, Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists, surgical Registrars, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Dieticians, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, Palliative care clinicians, Restorative Dentists and Occupational Therapists.
Your head and neck contain body parts that are important for functions such as breathing, speaking, swallowing, taste, smell and hearing.
Cancer can affect the mouth and throat and, less commonly, the ear, nose, sinuses and salivary and thyroid glands.
Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for more than 90% of head and neck cancers and originates in the lining of the mouth, tongue and throat.
We offer a comprehensive diagnostic service, including:
- A one-stop neck lump clinic with direct access to ultrasound and expert analysis of biopsy samples to enable an early diagnosis. Head and Neck Cancer Presentation
- The latest scanning techniques including MRI, CT and PET-CT
- Diagnostic surgery under general anaesthetic
Squamous cell carcinoma is treated with a combination of initial surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. All patients are discussed at the St George’s Hospital Head and Neck Cancer multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting to ensure they get the most appropriate treatment.
Thyroid cancer treatment usually involves initial surgery to remove half of all of the thyroid, followed by radioactive iodine therapy.
Surgery on head and neck cancer patients is carried out at St George’s. Patients requiring radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy are referred to our oncology partners at the Royal Marsden, either in Chelsea or Sutton.
You can find further information at Cancer Research UK or Macmillan Cancer Support
Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA)
If you have cancer, you often need care, support and information above and beyond the management of your condition.
At a holistic needs assessment, a doctor or nurse will discuss your physical, emotional and social needs. It’s about you as a whole, not just your illness.
This is a chance for you to share as much as you want about your worries and concerns. It will help us to clarify your needs and make sure you are referred to the relevant services.
It’s not compulsory, and if you decide not to have an HNA it won’t affect your care. But many patients find it useful because it identifies what help is available – and the doctor or nurse carrying it out can refer you to other services.
An HNA may be offered:
- Around the time of diagnosis or start of treatment
- When surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy has been completed
- Any time a patient asks for one