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Recent advances in minimal access surgery have shown promise in the treatment of limited hypopharyngeal lesions. In spite of their functionally excellent results in individual patients, it currently remains unlikely that these approaches will gain a more major universal impact on hypopharyngeal cancer care. In advanced stage hypopharyngeal cancer, the use of the traditional radical surgery, such as laryngo-pharyngectomy, is no longer accepted by many patients. In recent years, most would rather opt for less mutilating treatment, preferring a non-surgical option. Patients, families and medical practitioners frequently ignore or misunderstand the associated mortality and morbidity consequence of such an approach. Although synergy between chemotherapy and radiotherapy enhances the efficacy of the treatment, chemo-radiation as currently used achieves a tumour response in < 80%, with relapses of the tumour during the follow-up period, indicating that surgery is the only effective treatment option as salvage. Advances in molecular research have improved our understanding of oncogenesis, tumour spread and the mechanisms of metastases. Innovative strategies have become available that manipulating tumours or the host to favour conditions receptive for disease eradication. These advances have gone through pre-clinical testing and are currently being used in early clinical trials using approaches such as replacement of defective genes, suicide gene therapy, and immunologic gene therapy. Precision oncology may eventually be able to predict which patients are more likely to respond to specific cancer therapies based on increasingly accurate, high-resolution biomarkers based on molecular diagnostics of individual tumours. Currently concentrating cancer treatment at specialised head and neck cancer institutions is likely to contribute faster and more sustained results at improving patient outcomes for hypopharyngeal cancer care than any individual innovation in surgery, radiation oncology or systemic treatment. Preventative work should continue by governments with the elimination of the preventable risk factors (abusive use of alcohol, tobacco and betel nut chewing) may reduce the incidence of the disease.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Advances in oto-rhino-laryngology
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Tumors or cancer of the HYPOPHARYNX.
Institutions specializing in the care of cancer patients.
Nursing care provided cancer patients. It includes aspects of family functioning through education of both patient and family. The specialty of oncologic nursing focuses on cancer as a major health care problem.
Directions or principles presenting current or future rules of policy for assisting health care practitioners in patient care decisions regarding diagnosis, therapy, or related clinical circumstances. The guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or by the convening of expert panels. The guidelines form a basis for the evaluation of all aspects of health care and delivery.
Organization of medical and nursing care according to the degree of illness and care requirements in the hospital. The elements are intensive care, intermediate care, self-care, long-term care, and organized home care.
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