Metastatic Squamous Neck Cancer with Occult Primary
Expert treatment for neck cancer in San Diego
Expert treatment for neck cancer in San Diego
Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center cancer specialists treat metastatic squamous neck cancer with advanced surgical and radiation methods. We also provide specialized treatment for voice and swallowing disorders related to neck cancer care.
Our cancer teams personalize treatment to eliminate cancer while maintaining your quality of life. In addition, our multidisciplinary, collaborative board of cancer specialists reviews complex care plans to ensure patients receive the best possible care from diagnosis to recovery.
Metastatic squamous neck cancer treatment
“Occult primary” means “of unknown origin.” Metastatic squamous neck cancer with occult primary is a type of head and neck cancer that involves the spread of squamous cell cancer from an unknown part of the body to lymph nodes in the neck or collarbone area.
Metastatic squamous neck cancer treatment usually involves surgery, radiation therapy or both. Your Scripps cancer care team will customize your neck cancer treatment plan based on several factors, including:
- Whether the cancer can be completely removed with surgery
- How far cancer has spread
- Your age and overall health
Neck cancer treatment options at Scripps MD Anderson
Depending on how far the cancer has spread, surgical treatment options may include various types of neck dissection:
- Radical neck dissection, for advanced cancers, is when the surgeon may remove the lymph nodes, as well as nearby muscles, nerves, blood vessels and usually the salivary gland.
- Modified radical neck dissection removes lymph nodes with the aim of sparing muscles, nerves and blood vessels.
- Partial (or selective) radical neck dissection is a less extensive surgery that removes a portion of lymph nodes with the goal of sparing muscles, nerves and blood vessels.
Radiation therapy may be part of the treatment plan to eliminate cancer cells that were not removed during surgery. Scripps provides the most advanced radiation treatments for metastatic squamous neck cancer, including the following:
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy. IMRT allows the radiation oncologist to specify the dose of radiation for the tumor while restricting the dose to surrounding healthy tissues.
- 3-D conformal radiation therapy allows the radiation oncologist to visualize a patient’s anatomy in 3-D. The specialized software for With 3-D conformal radiation therapy matches radiation doses to the size and shape of a tumor and thereby minimizes exposure to nearby tissues and organs.
Chemotherapy for metastatic squamous neck cancer with occult primary may be part of a treatment plan for aggressive forms of the disease when surgery is not an option. It may be used alone or in combination with radiation therapy.
Metastatic squamous neck cancer treatment locations
Scripps diagnoses and treats metastatic squamous neck cancer with occult primary at numerous locations throughout San Diego County. From Chula Vista and La Jolla to Encinitas and beyond, our extensive network of Southern California cancer care centers includes:
- Four Scripps hospitals on five campuses
- Outpatient clinics
- Specialty cancer treatment centers
For details on specific centers and their services, visit cancer are locations.
Support groups, services and resources
As leaders in cancer care, we know what it takes to fight a winning battle. That’s why we equip our patients with the support and resources necessary to achieve their best possible outcome. From connecting you with support groups and services to empowering you with the latest resources and research, Scripps helps you along every step of your cancer journey.
Neck cancer support groups
This support group is open to all patients with cancers affecting the mouth, throat, head and neck.
Scripps Radiation Therapy Center, La Jolla
2nd Thursdays, 2 – 3 pm
10670 John Jay Hopkins Dr., La Jolla
Facilitator: Chrissy Fidler-Johnson, MA
Contact info: 858-626-5059
In support of our patients, survivors, their family members and the community, we host a handful of cancer support groups as well as a range of free workshops and health and wellness events on a number of topics such as:
- Expressive writing
Check the current list of support offerings or contact your oncology social worker or cancer care coordinator.
For info about other cancer support groups in the San Diego community, call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345.
Support services for cancer patients
We are here for you — not only as your oncologists, but as a robust multidisciplinary team of experts who understands that your cancer journey is about much more than your medical treatment. Specifically, Scripps MD Anderson offers a variety of patient support services to ensure your physical, psychological and emotional well-being as well as resources for dealing with the logistical and financial aspects of cancer care. Our services and resources include:
- Oncology nurses and nurse navigators with extensive clinical expertise in cancer care to help guide you and your caregivers to make informed decisions and ensure your optimal care.
- Palliative care to provide an extra layer of supportive care to manage pain and relieve symptoms, offer emotional and spiritual support, and improve your quality of life.
- Oncology social workers specially trained to provide counseling, connect you with community and medical resources, assist with transportation and housing and coordinate care after discharge.
- Our registered dietitian nutritionists offer individualized nutrition support for patients whose efforts to optimize their nutrition may be affected by cancer symptoms or treatment side effects.
- Referrals and professional care from experts in psychology, psychiatry and emotional health, including individual and family counseling to help with the emotional challenges of cancer.
- Physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy services, including wound care, voice therapy and swallowing therapy, lymphedema therapy, balance and vestibular rehabilitation, yoga and more.
- Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine for patients interested in mind-body healing through acupuncture, biofeedback, herbal nutrition, massage therapy, integrative cancer care and more.
- Nondenominational spiritual care offered by our chaplains to help coordinate spiritual care with your own clergy, rabbi or spiritual advisor.
- Visiting patient services if you reside beyond San Diego and want help arranging appointments or learning more about short-term lodging.
For the full spectrum of offerings, please visit our cancer patient support services section.