Head and neck cancer is a general name given to cancer of many organs. These cancers, whose incidence is increasing, occur in the oral cavity (tongue, lip, gingiva, cheek, palate), oropharynx (tongue root, floor of the mouth, tonsil), larynx (larynx), nasopharynx (nasopharynx) and hypopharynx (pharynx) regions. . The most well-known reason is the use of tobacco products.
Head and neck cancers affect many organs and bring aesthetic concerns, especially in the face area. However, today, thanks to multidisciplinary approaches and modern treatments, adequate results are obtained in these cancers.
Laryngeal cancer is most common
Among the head and neck cancers, which are more common in men compared to the numbers, the most common cancer is laryngeal cancer. Cancer of this region ranks 9th among the top 10 most common cancers. In developed western countries, it is possible to encounter more oral cancers. If we gather head and neck cancers in four main clusters, we can list them as follows: nasal cancers from the mouth to the throat, real cancers from the nostril to the sinuses, cancers with the vocal cords and cancers that occur in the part below this region we call the larynx.
Treatment is planned according to the cell type and genetic characteristics of the cancer.
In the treatment of head and neck cancers, treatments are determined according to the cell type or, more recently, the molecular genetic characteristics of the cancer. In the multidisciplinary treatment of the disease, after an ear, nose and throat examination, additional endoscopic evaluations are made and suspicious areas are examined. At this stage, the diagnostic stage is completed by performing the necessary biopsies. In treatment; surgical processes, chemotherapy and radiotherapy formulas are used.
On the Ministry of Health website, where the latest cancer statistics for 2016 are shared, lung cancer in men is close to 60 per 100,000, while prostate cancer is the second with 35, colon cancer is the third with 25 and urinary bladder is at 21. They are followed by gastric cancer with 14. In women, breast cancer is close to 46, followed by thyroid cancer with 23, large intestine with 14, uterine and lung cancer with 10.
Immunotherapy can be applied in combination with radiotherapy.
With the completion of the human genome project in 2013, cancer genome studies also gained momentum. Thanks to molecular genetic tests that detect the proliferation pathways of cancer, today, with smart drug and immunotherapy treatments, sufficient results are often obtained in cancer treatment by blocking the proliferation pathway of tumor cells.
Another valuable development is the application of immunotherapy combined with radiotherapy in the treatment of head and neck cancers. The results of the early period researches of this application are successful and advanced studies continue.
The side effects of immunotherapy are less common than chemotherapy, and in many patients, the treatment can be continued as long as it is effective. Immunotherapy, on the other hand, differs from chemotherapy treatments, which can be applied with a finite respite.