Head and Neck cancers are among the rare types of cancers and approximately 80% of them are linked to tobacco use, with HPV and alcohol abuse being the other major factors that are linked to these cancers. Head and neck cancers affect the squamous cells that line the nose, mouth, sinuses and throat.
With more advanced treatments and medical technology, these cancers can be treated more efficiently.
Finding cancer in its early stages makes it more effective to treat and that is what is offered at our partner hospitals. Once a doctor has done a physical examination, more tests may be ordered if lung cancer is suspected. Some advanced tests are:
This is basically directing high-energy waves to the affected area to destroy cancer cells. It is a complex process because the treatment is also meant to reduce the amount of radiation reaching healthy cells around the affected area. However, the advancement of medical technology has made this possible. For instance with the Volumetric Modulated arc Therapy, the device rotates 360 degrees increasing its precision and effectiveness. It also allows for control of the amount of radiation delivered, the speed at which the device rotates and the movement of the radiation shielding which reduces exposure of normal healthy tissue around the tumour.
Apart from prostate and kidney cancer surgery, the da Vinci robotic system can also be used in performing surgery to treat head and neck cancers. This robot is manipulated by a surgeon who controls it to perform controlled surgical procedures. The advantages of this system is that it:
1. Is more effective in controlling cancer,
2. Allows for faster recovery,
3. Allows for shorter hospital stays, and
4. Reduces the risk of complications after surgery.
It is a type of radiation therapy; however, brachytherapy involves replacing the source of the radiation in or near the tumour. The source of radiation can either be permanent or temporary and in treating head and neck cancers, the source is temporary, meaning, it is implanted directly into the tumour or near it temporarily. It offers precision and the reduced damage to the normal tissue around the tumour.
Just as the term suggests, this treatment targets specific cancer cells using medication, hence, it a type of chemotherapy. By blocking chemical signals that aid in the continued growth of cancer cells, the treatment is able to:
1. Prevent the growth of cancer cells,
2. Destroy cancer cells with the ability to spread to other body parts, and
3. Relieve symptoms.
The immune system is supposed to fight foreign substances once they enter the body, but in the case of cancer that may not happen. Immunotherapy is therefore designed to help the body’s immune system to detect cancer cells and fight them. Head and neck cancers that are unresponsive to chemotherapy can be treated using this advanced treatment option.
These advanced treatments for head and neck cancers may not he available locally or even in some hospitals overseas. However, International Medical Treatment Ltd (IMT) can help you find treatments such as these, not only for head and neck cancers, but for all types of cancers. Our partner hospitals overseas have the latest advanced medical technology and state-of-the-art surgical theatres, chemotherapy and radiotherapy units.