Head and neck malignancies represent the sixth most frequent type of cancer currently in worldwide statistics. Of these, oral and pharyngeal cancers have steadily increased, being linked with the increase in HPV infection pandemic. This rise is not due to one cause, but rather multiple factors such as lifestyle and sexual behavior pattern changes and globalization. Because of the anatomy of the oral cavity and oropharynx, the proper diagnosis is easily delayed, and patients present with advanced stage disease, which requires aggressive and extensive surgery along with neck dissection and chemoradiotherapy. Patients with advanced stage disease have a high recurrence risk with a low 5-year survival rate. Preventing the HPV infection is of course desirable, but right now, for adults which already are infected and have a higher risk of developing HPV-related neoplasias, as well as for our head and neck cancer patients, alternative treatment algorithms are necessary.
Part of the book: Human Papillomavirus
Total laryngectomy is still the final therapeutic solution in cases of locally advanced laryngeal cancer, as well as in cases of therapeutic failure of organ-sparing surgery or radiation therapy. Following excision of the larynx, the remaining pharynx is reconstructed to obtain continuity of the upper digestive tract. One of the most common complications in these patients, despite constant refinement of the procedure, is the development of a pharyngo-cutaneous fistula. These fistulas prolong hospital stay and often require a second surgical procedure, increasing morbidity and cost for the patient, while diminishing his quality of life. Some risk-factors have been identified, but only some may be corrected before surgery to lower this risk. Managing the fistula once present depends on multiple factors, essential being the size of the fistula as well as the position and concomitant factors, with options ranging from conservative measures to aggressive reconstructive surgery with local miocutaneous flaps. Modern vocal rehabilitation with T.E.P. (tracheo-esophageal puncture) and vocal prosthesis placement presents a new challenge – because of the risk of developing a tracheo-esophageal fistula, with an even higher risk for the patient because of tracheal aspiration. Understanding healing mechanisms of these structures is key to proper management of this complication.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Wound Healing
Patients who are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the pharynx have a first delayed presentation, with advanced stages of the disease. Therefore, they frequently require a multimodal approach—by surgery, radio, and chemotherapy. Due to anatomic spatial limits and particularities, therapy can imply large organ resection with difficulties in reconstruction. Nowadays, there is a paradigm shift in the management of this pathology, with significant first referral to oncology departments and initiation as the first line of treatment of radio/radio-chemotherapy. As a consequence, salvage surgery may be mandatory in some selected cases. The proposed chapter will address the oncological particularities of the pharynx, with a focus on the oro- and hypopharynx, ways of reconstruction after oncological ablative surgery of these segments, and impact on quality of life (QoL) index. Speech, respiratory, and deglutition rehabilitation of these patients is essential and will be a distinct topic. This paper will have the structure of a literature review with clinical examples of reconstruction from ENT and Head and Neck Surgery Department of Coltea Clinical Hospital, Bucharest. Reconstruction methods used in our clinic are regional flaps and biocompatible prostheses in advanced stages. QoL index in our clinic is assessed with questionnaires developed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer – EORTC QLQ C30.
Part of the book: Pharynx