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Cancer Care

img-2If you have a bad feeling about a persistent lump or sore inside your mouth, on your face or neck, it’s important that you visit Dr. Tom Dobleman and his team. Dr. Dobleman is a renowned, fellowship-trained head and neck cancer specialist – a compassionate and skilled professional with impeccable credentials, national board-certified training and a sensitive demeanor with new patients, immersed in fear and despair.

The primary cancers that Dr. Dobleman has expertise in treating include:

CANCER STAGING

Cancer staging enables the Dobleman team to determine the severity of your cancer. Treatment always depends upon 1) level 2) degree.

The stages of head and neck cancer are based on physical exams, endoscopies, biopsies and imaging tests such as a CT scan, MRI, chest X-ray or PET scans.

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has developed a system for classifying stages of cancer. The “TNM” cancer staging system helps Dr. Dobleman evaluate three primary factors that shape and define a treatment strategy: T, N and M:

  • T refers to the size of the primary tumor.
  • N describes the involvement of lymph nodes near the primary tumor. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped clusters of immune system cells that are key to fighting infections and are usually one of the first sites in the body to which cancer spreads.
  • M indicates whether the cancer has spread (“metastasized”) to other areas of the body. For instance, with oral cancer, the most common site of metastases is the lungs, liver and bones.

During the staging process, Dr. Dobleman will assign T, N and M values to your disease based on its appearance under a microscope. Your team at Dobleman HNC will review your medical history, family history and other factors to develop an individualized treatment plan for you.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Cancer treatment at Dobleman HNC combines proven scientific therapies with the latest innovations and insights gained from clinical trials. All treatments are grounded in meticulous research and precise technique. Every procedure is imbued with compassion, empathy and respect.

After the size and severity of your tumor has been determined, Dr. Dobleman evaluates several variables:

  • tumor site
  • morbidity of various treatment options
  • patient’s nutritional status
  • related health problems
  • social considerations
  • previous tumors
  • patient preferences.

Surgery and radiation therapy are the mainstays of treatment for most head and neck cancers. For small primary cancers (stage I or II), wide surgical excision alone or curative radiation therapy alone is used. More extensive tumors (stage III or IV) may require a combination of radiation and surgical excision

Surgery details
Surgery as a treatment is frequently used in most types of head and neck cancer. Usually the goal is to remove the cancerous cells entirely. This can be particularly tricky if the cancer is near the larynx and can result in the patient being unable to speak.

CO2 laser transoral laser microsurgery allows surgeons to remove tumors from the voice box with no external incisions. It also allows access to tumors that are not reachable with robotic surgery.

Innovations
However, improvements in diagnosis as well as a new type of therapy, known as targeted therapy, have led to improvements in quality of life and survival for head and neck cancer patients.

Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances, such as monoclonal antibodies, to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.

Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is the most common form of treatment. Although there are different forms of radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy using high energy photons is very popular.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy in throat cancer is not generally used to cure the cancer as such. Instead, it is used to provide an inhospitable environment for “metastases” so that they will not become established in other parts of the body.

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