The category, Head and neck cancers, include oral cavity, oropharynx, nasopharynx, laryngo-pharynx, paranasal sinuses and the lymph nodes of the neck. It does not include the brain or eyes or thyroid gland.
Larynx Cancer is the most common cancer of the head and neck. The larynx cancer subtypes are supraglottic, glottic and subglottic larynx. Most significant risk factors of developing head and neck cancer include tobacco, alcohol, HPV infection.
Symptoms include but not limited to hoarseness, cough, dysphagia, pain, swelling of neck. The usual work up includes clinical exam, laryngoscopy, panendoscopy, chest XR, CT scan, PET scan and biopsy, baseline nutritional, dental, speech, swallowing evaluation. 95% of larynx cancers are squamous cell type.
After completing the staging work up, the treating physicians assigning the appropriate clinical and pathological stage and prescribes the treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment is necessary to achieve the highest cure rate. The role of good oral/dental hygiene, routine healthy physical and routine dental evaluations and screaming, smoking cessation and reduction of alcohol consumption cannot be over-emphasized.
Treatment policy at CCMH has been a multidisciplinary approach, coordinating the care of our patients with primary care physicians, dentist, ENT specialists, head and surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists. Most head and neck patients are presented for management discussions at the weekly multidisciplinary conferences.
National guidelines are followed for treatment recommendations. The appropriate diagnostic and surgical options are discussed, as well as new chemo-radiation-therapy protocols are presented for discussion at tumor conference. Patients are closely followed after the recommended therapy by a multidisciplinary team and survival data is collected and the information is reported to the National Cancer Data Base.
This current study is focusing on outcome of larynx cancer, a subset of the wide spectrum of head and cancers, treated at CCMH. Patients with stage I,II,III and IV larynx cancer who were treated between 2002-2006 and were followed for 5 years are included in this study.
Graph - Survival of larynx cancer patients at CCMH compared to all North-East Region Community Comprehensive Cancer Centers’ survival statistics as per the National cancer Data Base.
We are proud to report that our survival statistics for larynx cancer were about 10% superior at CCMH compared to other institutions in the North-East Region.
Close follow up, long term monitoring of cancer survivors and outcome data collection and reporting is even more important in the current medico-economic climate to demonstrate to the payers and to the public, that providing comprehensive cancer care is also cost efficient and sustainable on the long run.
Gabor Altdorfer, M.D.
Cancer Liaison Physician, Commission on Cancer
Radiation Oncologist, Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital