World Class Treatment In Your Hometown
Education & Training:
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Nashville, TN)
Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville, TN)
Head and Neck Oncologic and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery
University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, KS)
American Board of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery
Conditions I Treat:
Benign Lesions: oral cavity (mouth), pharynx (throat), & larynx (voice box)
Oral Cavity Cancer
Cancers can develop in all areas of the mouth, including the on and under tongue, on the lips (inside and outside), inside of the cheeks (buccal), on the gums (gingival) and on the palate. These can affect speaking, chewing, and swallowing and become very painful if left untreated. In many cases, surgery is the best first option for treatment.
Cancers can develop in an area of the mouth/throat called the oropharynx that includes the tonsils, soft palate and base of tongue. Depending on the size and location, cancers of this region may be treated with up-front surgery or radiation (with or without chemotherapy). If the patient and I decide that surgery is the best treatment option, this is most often performed with transoral robotic surgery (through the mouth).
Cancers can develop on different parts of the larynx (voice box) and may affect speaking, breathing and swallowing if left untreated. Depending on the size and location, cancers of this region may be treated with up-front surgery or radiation (with or without chemotherapy).
Salivary Gland Tumors
Benign and malignant tumors can develop in the major (parotid, submandibular and sublingual) and minor salivary glands of the neck and mouth. Surgery is often the recommended up-front treatment for malignant salivary tumors.
Neck Masses & Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Masses or “lumps” in the neck can develop for several reasons. They can be benign, but also may represent the first sign of a head or neck cancer that has not been diagnosed. It is important to thoroughly evaluate any neck mass that has been present for more than 2 weeks without a recent history of infection.
Thyroid & Parathyroid Lesions (benign or malignant)
Many types of lesions (both benign and malignant) can develop within the thyroid and parathyroid glands. These are often discovered by primary care providers or endocrinologists and are referred to otolaryngologists for treatment. In certain cases, surgery is recommended as a primary treatment method after thorough evaluation.
Skin Cancers of the Head & Neck
Multiple types of skin cancer are common in the head and neck region due to this area’s amount of sun exposure over a lifetime. Most skin cancers are treated with surgery as the first-line of treatment. I offer surgery to remove skin cancers of the head and neck, taking care to preserve function and cosmesis to the extent possible. I also perform reconstructive surgery of the areas from where the skin cancer was removed if this is necessary.
Microvascular Free Flap Reconstruction
In some cases of head and neck cancer, surgical removal of a tumor leaves a defect that requires reconstruction. Options for reconstructing these areas include transferring tissue from the arm, leg, or shoulder/back to restore as much speaking and swallowing function as possible.
I specialize in treating patients with benign and malignant (cancerous) lesions and tumors of the head and neck. These encompass the mouth (oral cavity), throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), salivary glands, neck, face, and thyroid/parathyroid glands.
For patients with head and neck cancer:
Cancers of this region of the body can affect many of the functions that affect our quality of life including speaking and swallowing. For these and other reasons, receiving a diagnosis of a head and neck cancer can be very distressing to patients and their families. It is important for these patients to have a provider they can trust in these difficult situations.
I am committed to using a team-based approach when treating my patients, meaning I routinely collaborate with my colleagues in medical oncology, radiation oncology, speech and swallow therapy, nutrition, and others to ensure that all parties (including my patients) agree on a treatment plan. I offer comprehensive and state-of-the art surgical options for head and neck cancer when surgery is part of the recommended treatment plan. I also perform reconstructive surgery of the head and neck in cases where removal of a tumor requires that the area be reconstructed.
I believe in not only using a team of providers to treat head and neck cancer, but also using a patient-family-physician team to always keep patient concerns at the forefront. I consider it a true privilege to be involved in the care of patients with head and neck cancer.
I am originally from Hawaii, but have called Tennessee home for much of my life. I love it here! Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, traveling and participating in global health and education outreach programs.
World Class Treatment
Dr. Charissa Kahue Outlines Cancers of the Head and Neck
In Your Hometown
Memphis Teaching Physicians
1325 Eastmoreland Ave | Suite 260
Memphis, TN 38104 | Directions
Phone: 901-272-6051 | See More
Dr. Charissa Kahue is a recent addition to UT’s Dream Team! She’s now accepting patients.