Surgery is one of the main treatments for cancers of the head and neck. The type of surgery you have depends on the size and position of the cancer, and whether it has spread (its stage).
The main aim of surgery is to remove the cancer completely. But your surgeon will also do everything possible to minimise the changes that surgery may cause to your speech, swallowing and breathing.
Before your operation, your surgeon will discuss the type of surgery with you. It is important that you understand what they are going to remove and how this will affect you after the operation, in the short and long term.
There may be a risk your speech, swallowing or eating could be affected for a time after surgery. If this is the case, you may also meet a speech and language therapist (SLT) or dietitian before the operation.