Head and neck cancers are becoming increasingly common
There are many causes of head and neck cancers, and treatment is complicated. And one of the fastest growing demographic of cancers in the U.S. is human papillomavirus (HPV) in younger people, says Dr. Daniel Ma, a Mayo Clinic radiation oncologist.
"This is a treatable disease," says Dr. Ma. "It's a disease that's very responsive to radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. And it's one of those diseases, because the patients are young, that there's a good cure rate."
Dr. Ma says treatment for the numerous head and neck cancers requires medical coordination. "It's where tight collaboration between an ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon medical oncologist who gives chemotherapy, and a radiation oncologist, like myself, who gives radiation or X-ray treatments, is crucial for the success of the treatment."
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Ma describes the various symptoms and getting a diagnosis, and he talks about Mayo Clinic's Oropharynx Cancer Clinic, which he says is the first such multidisciplinary clinic in the country. Dr. Ma also explains advances in treatment like newer radiation techniques, including proton therapy, and more minimally invasive surgical techniques.
To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
Read the full transcript.
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