Head and neck cancer surgery

Cancers of the head and neck include malignancies of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), and neck. Historically such malignancies were often associated with tobacco and alcohol usage and those substances remain important etiologic factors. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the incidence of head and neck cancer (particularly malignancies of the tonsils and tongue base) caused by infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Symptom of Head and Neck Cancer

1.Hoarseness

2.Difficulty swallowing

3.Painful swallowing

4.Throat pain

5.Weight loss

6.Persistent ear pain without hearing loss

7.Persistent neck mass (often painless)

8.Oral bleeding Stridor(noisy breathing)

Patients exhibiting any of these symptoms should be evaluated by one of the physicians at ENT and Allergy Associates as soon as possible.

Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer

There are numerous options to treat H&N cancer. The most common treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The optimal treatment must be individualized for each cancer and each patient, depending upon the type of cancer, the site of the cancer, the stage (extent) of the cancer, and the underlying health status of the patient.

These complex malignancies often require the expertise of numerous physicians and para health professionals (speech language pathologists, dieticians, physical therapists, occupational therapists) in different specialties working in a collaborative, team-oriented approach. Such specialists may include head and neck surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, skull base surgeons, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists.

Head and Neck/ Endocrine procedure:

1.Thyroidectomy

2.Para thyroidectomy

3.Parotidectomy

4.Excision of submandibular gland for infection or tumor

5.Excision of benign and malignant laryngeal (voice box) tumors

6.Excision and reconstruction of tumors of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, and neck

7.Excisional of congenital masses of the head and neck

8.Excision and reconstruction of skin cancers of the head and neck

Some of these tumors involve more than one site in the head and neck, and it is not unusual for some tumors to require a team approach, including head and neck surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, rhinologists and skull base surgeons, and neurosurgeons.

• Parotidectomy

The parotid gland is the largest of the salivary glands, all of which produce saliva to help lubricate the oral cavity during meals. It is located just anterior to the ear, with extensions behind the ear and inferiorly into the upper neck. The most common indication for parotidectomy is tumors in the gland; the operation is rarely performed for severe, recurrent infections within the gland. Click here to read more... Fortunately, most parotid tumors (85-90%) are benign. The malignancies vary widely in their aggressiveness and prognosis; many low grade parotid cancers are highly curable with surgery. The most common parotid tumor is a pleomorphic adenoma, also called a benign mixed tumor. Pleomorphic adenomas have been known to degenerate into cancers if they are neglected for many years, hence the standard treatment for most parotid tumors is surgery.

• Hyperparathyroidism

The parathyroid glands are tiny glands in the neck that help to regulate the level of serum calcium. When the blood calcium level drops, the parathyroid glands release parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps to raise the level of serum calcium. Once the serum calcium level returns to normal, PTH production usually stops. In hyperparathyroidism one or more parathyroid glands become independent and continue to produce PTH. As a result, the serum calcium climbs. The resulting hypercalcemia can result in metabolic complications such as kidney stones, osteoporosis, brittle bones that can easily fracture, and abdominal pain. Click here to read more...The most common symptom of hyperparathyroidism is probably fatigue, however, since there are so many other potential causes for fatigue, you can never be certain if it is parathyroid-related until after surgery. Some patients with hyperparathyroidism are completely asymptomatic.