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Advanced Expertise for Head and Neck Cancers

Vassar Brothers Medical Center is uniquely positioned to treat complex cancers of the head and neck with a multidisciplinary healthcare team. The team members work collaboratively to diagnose and treat head and neck cancer patients. 

Leading our highly qualified team at Vassar Brothers Medical Center is maxillofacial, head and neck surgical oncologist Al Haitham Al Shetawi, MD, DMD. Under Dr. Al Shetawi's guidance, patients with cancers of the head and neck can receive comprehensive, personalized, and multispecialty care close to home in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Dr. Al Shetawi is a fellowship-trained surgeon specializing in the management of benign and malignant head and neck tumors, and board certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Meet the Team

Al Haitham Al Shetawi, MD, DMD

Al Haitham Al Shetawi, MD, DMD
Maxillofacial, Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist
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Conditions Treated

For patients with head and neck cancers, it's important to be seen by a coordinated team of specialists like the team at Health Quest. Our head and neck team treats patients for:

  • Oral cavity cancers
  • Jaw tumors
  • Oropharynx, hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers
  • Thyroid and parathyroid cancers and disorders
  • Tumors of the salivary glands
  • Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers
  • Advanced reconstructive surgery of head and neck defects

The Latest Diagnostics

Cancer can affect multiple structures in the head and neck and can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages. Early warning symptoms such as sore throat or oral pain may be mistaken for other common illnesses. Finding precancerous or cancerous lesions early requires clinical expertise and advanced technology such as:

  • Advanced equipment and scopes 
  • CT scan, MRI or PET imaging 

Our healthcare team is able to screen patients for cancer, treat precancerous lesions, provide a second opinion, and treat new and recurrent cancers in the head and neck.

Multidisciplinary approach to head and neck cancer 

We develop an individualized care plan for head and neck cancer patients based on the location and the stage of the cancer. Treatments may include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Multimodality treatment

Cancer treatment may vary depending upon the type of cancer and the stage of cancer. Often, one or more treatment modalities may be used to provide the most complete treatment for the patient. In some cases, it is common to use several treatment modalities concurrently or in sequence. This is referred to as multimodality treatment and the modalities may include surgery, chemotherapy, biological therapy, or radiation therapy. The decision for which treatment modality is best for the patient is made by an experienced multidisciplinary team that is composed of doctors on the medical staff of Vassar Brothers Medical Center including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, speech and swallow therapists, nutritionists, and social workers. 

Our patients have access to the supportive nursing staff, therapists and navigators at the Dyson Center for Cancer Care at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. You'll have access to the latest treatment options in a caring, compassionate environment. 

Benefits of Microvascular Surgery

Few therapeutic advances have made as significant an impact on the treatment of head and neck cancers as microvascular surgery. Where previously, surgical patients might be left with facial deformity or loss of function, the surgeons at Vassar Brothers Medical Center are now able to reconstruct defects at the time of tumor removal with tissues from the patient's body to restore cosmetic form and function.

We use the latest technology in planning the reconstruction. A CT scan of the patient's face produces a 3-D image that Dr. Al Shetawi and team use to perform the procedure virtually, from tumor resection to reconstruction. The results are remarkable for a wide range of patients who, in the past, would have faced lasting defects as a result of tumor removal.

Cancer Care Clinical Trials 

If you are an interested patient, researcher or sponsor, please feel free to call us at (845) 483-6825 or email research@health-quest.org

Our cancer care specialists in medical, radiation and surgical oncology bring an optimal level of clinical knowledge and skill to patients in the mid-Hudson valley. This attracts innovation to our area through industry sponsored, federally supported and investigator-initiated clinical trials. Health Quest offers programs and modalities which harness the power of genetic technology to create a personalized approach to cancer therapeutics, yielding the utmost potential for influencing disease progression and quality of life in the face of the most challenging illnesses of our generation.

View our cancer clinical trials.

Cancer Support Groups


Dyson Breast Center—Imaging
21 Reade Place
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 214-1830
(800) 421-1220

Health Quest Medical Practice—Breast Surgery
21 Reade Place, Suite 2100
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 214-1840
(800) 421-1220

Health Quest Medical Practice—Gynecologic Oncology
45 Reade Place
Dyson Center, 3rd Floor
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 483-6925
(800) 421-1220

Health Quest Medical Practice—Medical Oncology
45 Reade Place
Dyson Center 2nd Floor
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 483-6001
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Health Quest Medical Practice—Radiation Oncology
45 Reade Place
Dyson Center, 1st Floor
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 431-5645
(800) 421-1220

Health Quest Medical Practice—Surgical Oncology
45 Reade Place
Dyson Center 3rd Floor
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 483-6920
(800) 421-1220