Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Head and Neck Service Celebrates 100 Years


This past Sunday, the Fifth World Congress of the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) was held in New York City. The event coincided with Memorial Sloan Kettering’s centennial anniversary as the first Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Service in the world. Jatin Shah, Chief of MSK’s Head and Neck Service, spoke at the event about the progress made in those 100 years. CNN’s Dan Lothian and MSK survivor Jessica Tar hosted the event.

The event kicked off four days of programming designed to help bring head and neck oncologists from all over the world together to share advancements and research in their field. View the slideshow below for highlights from the opening ceremony, held this past weekend; read more about the event in the Daily News; and watch complete videos of former President Bill Clinton’s opening address and actor and activist Michael Douglas’s keynote speech.


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My father, treated at MSK for Stage 4 base of the tongue cancer in 2009. You saved his life, and I am forever thankful. However, due to complications from the intense radiation treatment his qualify of life is awful. He is living on a feeding tube. His qualify of life has decreased dramatically. Our life as a family has changed. I'm curious if there will be any sessions on life after head and neck cancer?

Dear Lisa,

Thanks so much for you question and for reaching out. You can see the full program from the conference here:

You may already be aware, but there are a number of support services that might help you, your dad, and your family. There’s some general information here: Our speech rehab specialists might also be able to help:….

In terms of other types of support, to help you cope with stress and strain, we reached out to social worker Barbara Golby, who co-runs one of the support groups for head and neck patients, and she made some suggestions, including the following:

- Monthly in-person Head & Neck support group for emotional and practical support (the group is for patients, although occasionally family members have attended)
In Manhattan:…
In Westchester:…

-Online men’s group (mixed diagnosis) that meets quarterly

-Individual or family counseling with Barbara Golby via Resources for Life after Cancer, 646-888-4740 or

-Family Therapy Clinic at the MSK Counseling Center, 646-888-0100

Thanks again for your comment. And we wish you and your family the very best.

Thank you for your quick response. Like many, I am praying that your amazing team can someday find a cure and in the meantime find comfort for everyone battling this disease.

Diagnosed with asymptomatic stage 4 papillary thyroid cancer in 2000, I was told to "...get my affairs in order and pray real hard!" I was extremely fortunate to have Dr. Jay O. Boyle as my surgeon. His skilled hands removed my thyroid, many infected lymph nodes, and much of the muscle in my left shoulder and upper chest. Dr. Boyle, coupled with Dr. Steven Larson and Iodine 131, saved my life! I have been cancer free for over five years! Kudos to dr. Boyle and the MSKCC Head and Neck Service! Miracle workers for sure!!!

Congratulations Sloan-Kettering on being #1 rated in Cancer Care - I am an 11 year Survivor, surgery performed August 2003, of Throat, Thyroid & Neck Cancer - Due to the complicated diagnosis of my condition and the immediate follow up surgery performed by, an outstanding Doctor and person, Dr RICHARD WONG, I am fine today. The intricate analysis:a) Invasive squamos cell carcinoma, lymph node right paratracheal b) Thyroid, right lobe and Isthmus, benign tissue c) 17 benign lymph nodes located in right neck area d)a benign parathyroid gland is identified e) Benign fibroadipose tissue. Sloan-Kettering deserves to be #1 and will always be #1 to me for their foresight and dedication to help and cure so many individuals thank have incurred these types of Cancers. Thank you, Ed Langan, August 4, 2014 .