Spotlight: Dayton’s First and Only Comprehensive Head and Neck Cancer Program

Premier Pulse     September 2019

Premier Health’s newly formed Head and Neck Cancer Program provides a full spectrum of collaborative care, offering patients diagnosis, treatment and support services close to home. Through this skilled and highly coordinated program, patients benefit from conveniently located comprehensive services typically found only at large academic medical centers.

Our experienced multidisciplinary team can diagnose and treat a wide range of benign and malignant head and neck tumors, including those of the eye, oral cavity, salivary glands, oropharynx, larynx, thyroid/parathyroid glands, esophagus, sinonasal tract, temporal bone, and skull base. We also treat the full gamut of skin cancer in the head and neck region.

Patients referred to the program have their care directed by head and neck cancer reconstructive surgeon Sameep Kadakia, MD. Here, Dr. Kadakia explains the program in greater detail:

Q: What services does Premier Health’s newly formed Head and Neck Cancer Program provide?

This is a unique program that is the first of its kind in the greater Dayton area. Our comprehensive head and neck cancer program offers multidisciplinary collaborative care for all head and neck cancer patients, with the goal of providing excellent care to treat all aspects of their challenging diagnoses. The program is able to diagnose, work-up, and treat these patients whether they need surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment.

Our team includes providers that can perform advanced head and neck cancer surgery; plastic and reconstructive surgery; general surgical oncology; dedicated head and neck medical and radiation oncology; wound care along with hyperbaric oxygen treatment; a full suite of radiographic imaging; speech and swallow therapy; feeding tube placements; nutritional support; medical and cardiopulmonary management; oncology nurse navigators; social support; and more.

We seek to partner together with our patients and community as a team to keep all cancer care local and convenient for the patient so they can undergo this challenging treatment in the comfort of their community. We highly value the engagement of patients’ families in their treatment process as well. Any need that a cancer patient has can be easily met by our team from the moment a patient walks into our practice to when they are treated and rehabilitated.

Q: How does having this program benefit patients?

Previously, patients with advanced head and neck cancers were being sent to outside facilities for treatment. While the treatment was certainly adequate, the challenge of having patients go to outside facilities lies in the great inconvenience and difficulty for them to make multiple trips to destinations that are several hours away. Cancer patients require the assistance of multiple providers, resulting in many appointments for consultations, treatment, imaging, etc. This poses a great burden to them and their families due to the time and expense required to make these trips.

This program provides comprehensive cancer support with the advantage of remaining close to home. Patients no longer have to travel several hours to go to their appointments; they can simply remain in the Dayton area and be treated in the comfort of their community. Having the convenience of being close to home is a source of great comfort for these patients. We believe in individualized patient care and give special attention to these patients.

Q: Why is it important for our physicians to know about these services?

It is important for physicians to know of these services so they can refer these patients locally. It is always valuable and appreciated by patients when they are aware of a local treatment option that provides outstanding care. Physicians should be aware of these services so they can have a place to send patients for care of these challenging problems.

Importantly, when physicians know the team providing care for their patients locally, they can easily be involved in the care as a part of the team. Often when patients are referred to places farther away, the referring doctors are left out of the treatment team and there can be a gap in communication. With local cancer care, referring doctors can partner with us and be an integral part of treatment efforts while maintaining seamless communication.

Additionally, Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our membership means that we can connect local patients to the expertise of one of the nation’s leading cancer centers. This includes peer-to-peer consults as well as evidence-based guidelines and treatment plans.

Q: Tell us about your training and medical experience:

I went to medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia, at which point I became interested in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. I then went to do my residency in New York City, graduating from the Mount Sinai program.

I became interested in head and neck cancer along with reconstructive plastic surgery, so I went to Texas to pursue fellowship training with Dr. Yadro Ducic. In my fellowship, I learned special techniques in the surgical management of advanced head and neck cancer patients. I learned how to operate on patients with all types of head and neck cancer, including thyroid cancer, tongue and mandible cancer, laryngeal cancer, sinus cancer, skin cancer, and more. I also performed many procedures in conjunction with neurosurgery dealing with cancers at the skull base. Being a large referral center for refractory cases, I was trained in managing cancers that recurred after treatment and also cancers that recurred/persisted after radiation treatment. I was also trained in the full gamut of head and neck reconstruction, including local and regional flaps; along with expertise in microvascular free tissue reconstruction, whereby I can reconstruct any head and neck defect using various muscle, skin, and bone grafts from different parts of the body to restore function to the operated area.

Q: What are some examples of head and neck cancer?

Tongue cancer, mandible cancer, laryngeal cancer, sinonasal cancer, skull base cancer, skin cancer, pharyngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, temporal bone cancer, thyroid cancer

Q: What are the symptoms, warning signs, and risk factors that physicians should look out for in their patients?

Specifically for head and neck cancers, many of the symptoms are quite vague and nonspecific. Symptoms to watch out for include: weight loss, unexplained fevers or night sweats, lumps or bumps in the neck or face region, vision changes, persistent nasal congestion, persistent nasal bleeding, headaches, throat pain, dysphagia, voice changes, and pain.

Q: Thyroid cancer has been identified as the fastest growing cancer for women in the United States. What guidelines do you suggest physicians follow to watch out for the disease?

Routine examination for all patients as part of their physical. Also, any new thyroid mass/lump/change in size should be evaluated with ultrasound.

Q: At what point should a physician refer a patient to you for evaluation?

Any patient with a biopsy-proven head and neck malignancy; any patient with a prior history of head and neck malignancy needing follow up; any patient with prior head and neck surgery needing reconstruction or further treatment; any patient with a new head and neck mass or concerning findings on symptoms/exams; any patient with persistent symptoms as mentioned above that would benefit from full head and neck oncologic exam, including fiberoptic scope exam; and any patient with abnormal imaging findings, even if incidentally found


To refer to Dr. Kadakia, please contact his office directly, or refer through EPIC.

(513) 420-4678(513) 420-4678
(513) 420-4705 FAX

In the Order Search box, choose either “Premier ENT Associates” or “Kadakia.”

Back to the September 2019 issue of Premier Pulse

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