Head and neck cancer includes cancer of the nose, paranasal sinuses, tongue, mouth, tonsils, pharynx, larynx, salivary glands and thyroid. Smoking and alcohol consumption increases the risk of head and neck cancer. In recent years it has been discovered that some subtypes of human papilloma virus (HPV) can cause throat and pharynx cancer. The incidence of cancer of the pharynx and oral cavity due to HPV has risen markedly in recent years. This increases the need to monitor high-risk individuals from specialized otorhinolaryngologists (screening for head and neck cancer).
Head and neck cancer also includes all skin cancers in the area. The most common skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, has a very good prognosis if complete surgical removal of the tumor is achieved intraoperatively. The design of tumour removal and the choice of plastic reconstruction are very important factors for the aesthetic and functional rehabilitation of the patient.
The operation and the management of patients with head and neck cancer requires highly skilled doctors not only on the length of treatment but also on behalf of psychological support for patients and their family environment. The discussion with the patient and the thorough analysis of treatment options is the most important part of the treatment. The management of patients with head and neck cancer is certainly not by a single doctor, but requires the cooperation of many specialized professionals in various disciplines (oncologists, radiotherapists, radiologists, anesthesiologists, speech therapists, pathologists, dentists, etc.) All these professionals operate as a team and together they plan the best treatment for each patient.
“My goal is that all patients with head and neck cancer get informed with honesty and professionalism for their condition and the treatment options available. Each patient is unique and therefore always requires a personalized treatment, respecting not only international treatment guidelines but also the experience of doctors and the specificity of each patient. As former head of the Oncologic Division of Clinical ENT – Facial Plastic Surgery in the Hospital Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe in Germany and coordinator of the Oncology Group (Tumorboard), I managed to gain important experience not only in carrying out complex oncologic surgery and plastic reconstruction as well as in the management of patients before and after complex therapies. I am always close to the patient with professionalism and love so that they overcome their disease in the most painless way. ”
Dr. Evangelos I. Giotakis, ENT – Facial Plastic Surgeon