"Best" hospital for Head/Neck?

I am very pleased with the care I've been receiving at University of Chicago Hospitals (live in Chicagoland suburbs), but my squamous cell tongue cancer has proven to be quite resistant to chemo (and is described by one doctor as "mean"), and I'm no longer a candidate for follow-on chemo/radiation.

They are down to choices of between bad options - palliative care or tongue replacement/reconstruction (please see my previous thread if you don't know what that is).

We all here have different experiences and many keep up with Head/Neck cancer research. If there would be one hospital to go to for a "Hail Mary" play - someplace where they're doing the most innovative treatments and research for this type of cancer - what would it be? NIH? Memorial Sloan Kettering? MD Anderson? Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated. Thanks!


  • SusanUES
    SusanUES Member Posts: 125
    I will speak very frankly...

    Bob, I'm a night owl and just got home to read both your posts. I gather that your cancer has advanced to a stage where a total tongue removal or end stage care are the two options. Let's skip the **** factor and cut to the chase. Me, I would opt for Sloan Kettering and get myself there asap. There's nothing they can't address and I think your chances are better there than elsewhere. Second, I have researched and youtubed total glossectomy cases...it's frigging amazing how patients recoup and continue on. Not saying recovery is easy or quick but quality of life is absolutely there. I'm laying odds that you've got a lot of people who love you and want you in this life...and I'm willing to bet you've got a lot of life worth living ahead. We are not a just a breast or a tongue...you and me and everyone here is a total package, and you owe it to yourself to give it every shot you can. Bottom line for me is MSK and do what you must. 

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    I hope this may help, and sorry to hear that.

    This is the National ratings and it is set to ENT. You can just change it to Cancer and then view them. Now this is just my opinion, but I wanted a very good ENT [Head and neck] but also good with cancer. My thought was since my cancer was throat I need some that are really good in that field as I was needing surgery, but also wanted very good in Cancer. I have studied this quite a bit over the last few years. What I have seen is one is outstanding in Cancer like maybe #3 but in head and neck there #43. Where the other one was a 4 in cancer but a 7 in H&N. 

    I went for a 9/10 and was very happy. 




  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,770 Member
    edited June 2016 #4
    get more review

    If you have the ability to get second opinions, you need to organize them immediately. Both MD Anderson and MSKCC are top rated places. Before accepting a palliative path, do get a couple other opinions on your options. Good luck!

  • fishmanpa
    fishmanpa Member Posts: 1,225 Member
    Don't rule out....

    Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. There's also a Hope Lodge within a mile or so of the hospital.

    Posotive thoughts and prayers


  • danecornel
    danecornel Member Posts: 7
    fishmanpa said:

    Don't rule out....

    Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. There's also a Hope Lodge within a mile or so of the hospital.

    Posotive thoughts and prayers


    What did you have done there?

    What did you have done there? How has it been?

  • fishmanpa
    fishmanpa Member Posts: 1,225 Member

    What did you have done there?

    What did you have done there? How has it been?

    Partial neck dissection to remove the cancer then 6 weeks rads/chemo. I have one more set of appointments in Feb 2018 and I will be released from their care and deemed "cured". 

    Positive thoughts and prayers

  • Bionicguy
    Bionicguy Member Posts: 22
    edited October 2017 #8
    Just my 2 cents...MD Anderson

    My story - Squmous Cell Carcinoma, base of tounge tumor and lymph nodes. Had 6 chemos 42 radiations in Nov 16 - Jan 17. First 2 follow up scans were NED. On 3rd scans they found some cancer cells that were for whatever resistant to the radiation used. So, last week I had a neck disection. Took out all lymph nodes, juggler vein, muscles and "associated tissue". Just to make sure they got it I'm going to start 6 more weeks of radiation using a different type of radiation and process. As I understand it, MDA is only one of 2 treatment centers in the US that have the technology. I don't know who the other is.

    People come from around the world to be treated here. My only point is it would be worth a trip to at least talk talk to them to see what they have to offer.

    Best of luck to you and hope it works out whatever you do.