Intraoperative identification of primary tumours in unknown primary head and neck cancer using transoral laser microsurgery with frozen sections

The aim of the study was to compare the sensitivity and specificity of intraoperative identification of primary tumours in patients with unknown primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (UP HNSCC) using transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) with frozen sections, with...

Elevated prevalence of late-onset dysphagia among head and neck cancer survivors and identifying risk factors

Dysphagia is one of the most common problems affecting head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors. There are few studies investigating late-onset dysphagia post-treatment. The authors set out to investigate the prevalence of dysphagia-related diagnoses and procedures five years’ post-treatment, changes...

Delays in oral cancer

This is a review from Canada where they attempt to relate delays in oral cancer presentation to treatment and the impact on stage, diagnosis and survival. They recognise that potentially the most significant delay is between the patient first noticing...

Significance of abnormal retropharyngeal nodes in head and neck cancer

Abnormal retropharyngeal lymph nodes (RLN) have prognostic relevance for patients with oral, oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). However, consensus on the evaluation and management of abnormal RLN in these patients is lacking. The authors of this paper provided...

Is bone scanning still of value?

This is an article from Australia of 109 patients, 83 of which had CT, 72 MRI and the presence of bone invasion on imaging was compared with the histopathology. Bone invasion was present in 44 of 109 resection specimens. Bone...

Investigation of the role of KPNA2 biomarker in oral SCC invasiveness

This edition of Head and Neck has a strong focus on studies using immunohistochemistry (IHC) to elucidate potential roles of various cell-signalling molecules in both HNSCC and thyroid cancer. The ‘cellular-protein heavy’ title of this article may be off-putting to...

Risk factors for loco regional recurrence for oral SCC

Over 250,000 cases of oral squamous cell carcinomas are diagnosed annually worldwide with 128,000 registered deaths. The authors of this study are from a single institution in Germany and have conducted a retrospective audit of 517 patients with oral SCC...

Evidence for diagnostic role of narrow band imaging in the outpatient setting for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Narrow band imaging (NBI) uses light in the blue and green spectrum to differentiate areas of carcinoma from normal or inflammatory tissue. This tertiary referral head and neck unit in Spain used white light endoscopy as initial screening for all...

Power tools dance off

The use of the harmonic scalpel is popular with some head and neck surgeons. This study looked at selective neck dissections for 40 patients with oral cavity carcinoma. They were randomised into harmonic scalpel (HS) use and monopolar electrocautery. The...

Trends in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer

The recent rise in HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is well described. There has been a significant shift from tobacco-driven to virus-driven cancers at this anatomical site. This retrospective study analysed US tumour registry data over a long period (1973–2009)...

Best timing for post-treatment PET-CT scans in head and neck cancer

Unfortunately we know that the recurrence rate for head and neck cancer can be high, up to 30-50% in some series. These recurrences tend to occur within the first two years following treatment. Optimal surveillance strategies to detect recurrences early...

Risk factors for pharyngocutaneous fistula after laryngectomy

Pharyngocutaneous or salivary fistula is a feared complication following laryngectomy, causing significant morbidity, prolonged hospital inpatient stay / cost and mortality. Previous radiotherapy / chemoradiotherapy is a well recognised risk factor and leads many surgeons to recommend onlay pectoralis major...

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