Understanding Choices

Treatment options are based on your individual circumstances and can depend on several factors such as the tumor location, tumor stage, degree of malignancy (grade) whether the cancer has spread, general health, age, long-term side effects and more.

While each patient’s circumstance may be different, the most widely accepted standard of care for a newly-diagnosed patient is surgical removal of the primary tumor followed by radiation. Radiation and/or systemic therapy (chemotherapy, targeted drugs and immunotherapy) may be recommended if the cancer cannot be surgically removed or advanced metastatic disease is apparent.

Initially, patients often work with a surgeon; likely an otolaryngologist who is surgically trained to work with cancers of the ear, nose, throat (ENT). Later a patient may work with a multidisciplinary team of doctors to include surgeon(s), radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, dental oncologist, speech pathologist, case workers, and others. Talk to each doctor about the goals of each treatment and what can be expected. These types of talks are called ‘shared decision-making’.

Common types of treatment forms

Click the links below to find out more information about the different treatment options:


Radiation Therapy

Systemic Therapy

A lot of decisions are made early on in a new diagnosis.  These decisions are complicated by feelings of anxiety, statistics, unfamiliar words and a sense of urgency. ACC is normally slow growing and unless the situation is extremely urgent, take time to learn about all of your treatment options and be sure to ask questions with your doctors. Don’t hesitate to seek a 2nd or 3rd opinion from experts or medical institutions if in doubt. ACCOI provides a list of knowledgeable physicians from around the world.