Friday, January 15, 2010

Head and Neck Cancers- How To Diagnose and Treat

In India head and neck cancers are one of the commonest cancers to affect mainly men and also women.
The main areas affected are the cheek, the jawbones, the lip, tongue and other areas like throat and voice box.

What causes these cancers?
Smoking and chewing tobacco is the commonest cause for mouth and throat cancers. People who don’t use tobacco have very less chance of getting head and neck cancers. Other important causes include, any irritant like sharp tooth, ill fitting dentures etc. Familial predisposition also plays a significant role.

Patients @Vydehi Hospital

How are these cancers diagnosed?
All it requires is a thorough clinical examination by an experienced cancer specialist. If required endoscopic examination is carried out and biopsy taken for confirmation of cancer. To know how big and extensive these cancers are, a CT scan/MRI is often done. All these tests can be completed within three to four days. At vydehi cancer center these tests are very cheap

How many stages of cancer are there and how they are treated?
There are four stages of cancer. Stages 1&2 are called curative stages and stage four not curable. Certain percentage of stage three cancers are also cured with aggressive treatment

Treatment for early stages is either by surgery or radiation therapy. With advanced radiation therapy machine like IGRT, which is present in vydehi cancer, center the treatment results are very good and side effects minimal.

Surgery involves removal of affected parts including glands in the neck affected by cancer and do a plastic surgical reconstruction. Excellent rehabilitation helps in recovery of function and appearance.

Are these treatments costly and not affordable?
At cancer centers like Vydehi oncology center, the cost is nearly one third that of any other comparable center. Facilities to treat poor patients is present


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