Leadership Forum

Dr. Uttam Sinha Talks About Holistic Cancer Care at the USC Head and Neck Center

Originally published May 12, 2022

Last updated June 26, 2023

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Rod Hanners, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, and Dr. Uttam Sinha, a head and neck surgeon at Keck Medicine

Rod Hanners, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, talks with the director of the USC Head and Neck Center.

“Conversations with Rod” is a video series featuring Rod Hanners, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, talking with Keck Medicine doctors about our innovative medical care and research. In this video, Hanners sat down with Uttam Sinha, MD, a head and neck surgeon and director of the USC Head and Neck Center, to discuss how a holistic approach to cancer care can help patients. Watch the full video below — or read excerpts from their conversation.

Interview Excerpts

How do you partner with patients to deliver exceptional treatment for head and neck conditions like cancer?

Uttam Sinha, MD: When we established our program [USC Head and Neck Center], [we thought] that our program should be built upon not just patients, [but] also the family and caregivers. And that’s why we like to engage all the family members, because the psychosocial need for the patient at that time is so high that they really need support.

What lifestyle recommendations do you give your patients?

US: If you look at the definition by the World Health Organization, health is a state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being and not a mere absence of a disease. So, it’s very important to pay attention to all four dimensions. This definition is very, very powerful, because all four dimensions are complementary to each other.

What inspires your approach to patient care?

US: I grew up in India, and as a child, I used to see a lot of these patients on the street with a large tumor from the head and neck area. And as a kid, I was inspired that one day I’ll be a doctor and take care of these patients.