Timely detection of disease and opting for the correct line of treatment helped a 60-yearold Delhi resident get rid of a fast growing head and neck cancer. Doctors at Fortis Noida performed a Vallecula biopsy of on the patient who had developed Dysphagia i.e. difficulty in swallowing to an extent where even water could not be taken in orally. The team at Fortis Noida which ensured the successful treatment was led by Dr. Vikas Goswami, Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology and Dr. Gagan Saini, Senior consultant, Radiation Oncology. Early detection served as an important facet of the case as it ensured the patient was given the necessary treatment in time.
Ramesh Chand, 60 years of age, was suffering from head and neck cancer and was presented to Fortis Hospital Noida in January last year for a vallecula biopsy and radiation. The vallecular is a depression just behind the root of the tongue between the folds in the throat. Ramesh had also developed Dysphagia, a condition in which there was difficulty in the passage of solids or liquids from the mouth to the stomach, a lack of pharyngeal sensation and various other inadequacies of the swallowing mechanism. His cancer was a result of tobacco consumption which he had engaged in for over 40 years. He successfully underwent chemotherapy and radiation and his recovery was smooth and uneventful.
Dr. Vikas Goswami, Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Noida said “The war against head & neck cancer is not just limited to chemotherapy and surgery or radiation therapy. In today’s era we have newer molecules which are called as targeted therapies which have much less side effects and very affective.”
Dr. Gagan Saini, Senior consultant, Radiation Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Noida said ” About one-third of our country’s population older than 15 years uses tobacco, and it is no wonder that we see one million deaths each year that are related to tobacco. While these cases described are head and neck cancers, tobacco are (both smoke and smokeless) causes cancer of lung, food pipe and stomach also. The principle behind treatment of head and neck cancer is addressing the loco-regional cancer aggressively with radiation therapy or surgery (coupled with chemo in selected cases). It has been shown in studies that adequate addressing of local disease leads to better out come.”
Dr. Pinak Moudgill, Zonal Director, Fortis Noida said, “At Fortis we aim to deliver our best. Our efforts are streamlined to ensure that our patient is given the best care in the most efficient manner possible. An important aspect of this case which should be highlighted is the fact that the early detection of cancer helped save the life of the patient. Tobacco users should be cautious of their consumption levels and aware about the onset of symptoms related to cancer.”
According to the World Health Organization, Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Cancers that are known collectively as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). Alcohol and tobacco use (including smokeless tobacco, sometimes called “chewing tobacco” or “snuff”) are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers. At least 75% of head and neck cancers are caused by tobacco and alcohol use. Treatment may include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Following treatment of one head and neck cancer people are at higher risk of a second cancer.
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