Throat cancer and thyroid cancer are the two primary forms of neck cancer. If you have one of these diseases, David Kornguth, MD, of Golden Gate Cancer Center in the SoMa (South of Market) neighborhood of San Francisco, California, can help. Dr. Kornguth targets neck cancer by using advanced radiation therapy technologies, such as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D CRT). Call the Mission District office today to find out more, or fill in the online form to book a consultation.
Neck cancer develops when cells within one of the structures in your neck begin to change, growing and dividing rapidly. Over time the cancerous cells form tumors. Neck cancer has two main forms:
Throat cancer can develop in your throat (pharynx), your tonsils, your voice box (larynx), or your epiglottis — the small piece of tissue at the back of your throat. Throat cancers have different names (for example, pharyngeal and laryngeal) depending on which part of your throat they're affecting, but they usually form from a single variety of cancer cells.
Your thyroid gland is inside your neck. It produces hormones that control your metabolism, affecting essential functions like blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, as well as your weight. Some types of thyroid cancer are slow to grow; others are more aggressive.
Throat cancer typically requires radiation therapy, and this may be all you need if your cancer is in its earliest stages. More advanced throat cancer might need chemotherapy in combination with radiation therapy.
Thyroid cancer doesn't always require treatment early on. If the tumor is small and the cancer is unlikely to spread, you might just require active surveillance. This involves having regular checkups, blood tests, and scans to monitor the tumor's growth.
If the tumor stays small enough, it won't need treatment. If it starts to grow, one common approach is to surgically remove the thyroid gland. After surgery, radioactive iodine treatments like I-131 radioactive iodine ablation wipe out any remaining cancer cells.
Some neck cancers are close to the spinal cord. Historically, this would have made them too high risk for radiation therapy. Now, Dr. Kornguth uses advanced targeting techniques like stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D CRT) to treat neck cancer.
This approach delivers the required level of radiation to the tumor while minimizing radiation exposure to nearby tissues. Even growths that are close to your spinal cord can undergo radiation therapy safely, with a significantly lower risk of side effects.
When you consult Dr. Kornguth, he works with you to prepare a personalized treatment plan that prioritizes your preferences. He enables you to make decisions by providing you with all of the information you need to know what's best in your case.
Dr. Kornguth has considerable experience of treating head and neck cancers, having trained and been an assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, one of the foremost cancer centers in the world.
Call Golden Gate Cancer Center today to find out more or book an appointment online.