Head and neck cancers

Types of treatment star_border Save this page

The main types of treatment for head neck cancers are:

  • surgery
  • radiation therapy (radiotherapy)
  • chemotherapy
  • targeted therapies
  • immunotherapy
  • palliative care.

Most people with head and neck cancer have one or more of these treatments. Not all treatments are suitable for every person or every type of cancer.

Choose the option that best suits your situation

The type of surgery you have depends on your cancer.
Radiation therapy is a way of treating cancers using X-rays or other types of radiation.
Chemotherapy, also known as chemo, is a way of treating cancer using drugs.
Targeted therapy uses drugs that affect specific cells in some cancers.
Immunotherapy helps the body’s immune system to fight cancer.
Palliative care deals with managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

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Looking after your general health is important, even when you have cancer.
There are ways to deal with some of the emotional effects of having cancer.
It is important to ask about costs before you start your treatment.