Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for UC San Diego Health patients and visitors. Learn More


Head and Neck Tumors and Cancer

The head and neck surgeons at UC San Diego Health are experts in the care of individuals with benign and malignant tumors of the mouth, nasal cavity and throat.

Our head and neck oncology program is dedicated to the delicate and technical procedures necessary to treat these conditions. We also serve the region as a referral center for difficult-to-treat cancer recurrences.

Head and Neck Cancer Center

Exceptional Care

We are unique in our ability to offer patients in-office ultrasound for diagnosis, biopsy and treatment. Providing real-time information during your consultation, our clinic-based technology saves considerable time by enabling our team to complete in one visit what would normally take multiple doctor visits.

Tumors and Cancers We Treat:

  • Vocal cord cancer
  • Tongue cancer
  • Nasopharynx cancer
  • Thyroid and parathyroid cancer
  • Benign thyroid and parathyroid nodules
  • Cheek cancer
  • Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Metastasized cancer with an unknown primary
  • Recurrent head and neck cancer
  • Nose cancer

Leading-Edge Treatment and Surgery

Our surgeons are leaders in the field of minimally invasive surgical techniques and treatment for all forms of head and neck cancer.

We are one of the only health systems in the region offering outpatient thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy. In addition, we are leaders in trans-oral laser microsurgery (TLM), a minimally invasive surgical method for removing squamous cell carcinomas from the tongue, larynx and pharynx.

Using the skills of our multidisciplinary team, we can treat any area of the skull base for:

  • Benign and malignant tumors
  • Infections
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Traumatic injuries (including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, facial paralysis and sinus fractures)

Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health

Moores Cancer Center is a comprehensive multidisciplinary center that brings the expertise of surgeons specifically trained in the complex anatomy of the head and neck together with:

  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Dental medicine specialists
  • Speech and swallowing disorders specialists
  • Reconstructive plastic surgeons

Learn more about surgical oncology and the Head and Neck Cancer Center.

Cynthia Zamora was left speechless after UC San Diego Health surgeons, including Dr. Joseph Califano, removed part of her tongue. Our multidisciplinary team created a new tongue using part of her thigh muscle, and with help from rehab therapists, she is walking and speaking again. For more about her journey, watch the video or read her story.

Appointments & Referrals

Related Specialists