How is Unknown Primary Head and Neck Cancer treated?
The head and neck cancer specialists and subspecialists at Miami Cancer Institute are internationally renowned experts who offer the most advanced therapies available to treat your specific kind of cancer.
Immediately after diagnosis, our specialty teams provide additional tests to determine if the cancer has affected other areas of the head and neck or any other areas of your body.
Every patient’s disease is unique, with different cells moving, changing or multiplying based on that person’s individual genetic makeup. In addition to locating the tumor cells and determining what the genetic changes and markers are, other ways our specialists and sub-specialists create the best treatment plan for you include factoring in age, overall health, family history, medical history and finally, staging the cancer, which helps identify how far the disease has progressed.
Your personalized treatment plan may include:
- Surgery - Every patient’s cancer is unique, so your Miami Cancer Institute specialists will discuss what surgical option might be best for you.
- Radiation Therapy - As the only cancer center in the world to offer all of the latest radiation therapy technologies under one roof, the Cancer Institute is also home to South Florida’s first state-of-the-art proton therapy center.
- Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy drugs destroy cancer cells and control their growth. Chemotherapy can be combined with other treatments either to shrink tumors before surgery or radiation or to ensure all cancer cells have been eliminated following other treatment therapies. In most cases, chemotherapy is given intravenously (through an IV) through a thin tube called a catheter, which is inserted into a vein.
- Targeted Therapies - Your Miami Cancer Institute cancer specialists use drugs or other select substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells, blocking their growth and spread. The goal of targeted therapy is to interfere with genes or proteins involved in tumor growth while avoiding damage to healthy cells. Targeted therapy is the foundation of precision medicine, which uses information about a person’s genes or a tumor’s DNA profile to develop innovative, tailored treatment options. Treatment can be delivered orally, intravenously or by another mode – specific to you and your cancer type. Targeted therapy may also be combined with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
- Immunotherapy - Your Miami Cancer Institute cancer specialist may use certain drugs to assist your immune system’s ability to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells, blocking their growth and spread. Immunotherapy is delivered intravenously and is usually very well tolerated. It may also be combined with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
- Clinical Trials offer South Florida patients and our communities access to leading-edge, innovative treatments that often result in new therapies not available elsewhere and can also often mean excellent outcomes for patients.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Bone Marrow Transplant experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
South Florida's First Proton Therapy Center
Proton therapy is a highly specialized treatment that directs proton particles toward tumors to destroy cancer cells while largely sparing healthy tissue and decreasing the risk of side effects. This sophisticated treatment is used only for certain types of cancers and in a limited number of individuals.