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head & neck oncology(cancer) clinic

The Head & Neck Cancer clinic at MERF provides comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation for patients afflicted with cancers arising in the upper aero-digestive tract and cancers of the head & neck regions. The main goal of this clinic is to provide state of the art patient care, including screening for early cancer detection, precise evaluation with advanced investigative modalities, providing increased survival rate by planning appropriate multi-modal therapy (Surgery, Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy) and counseling for cancer patients.

The Oncology clinic at MERF is a collaborative effort by a professional team which includes ENT Surgeons, Oncologists, Radiotherapists, Pathologists & related clinical specialists like Speech Therapists, Clinical Psychologists & Rehabilitationists.

Apart from cancer management, the Head & Neck clinic also addresses benign lesions of the Thyroid & Parathyroid Glands, Salivary Glands, Oral Cavity, Pharynx (Throat), Larynx (Voice Box), Nasal Cavity, Sinuses & also the Skull Base.

This Clinic is headed by Prof. Mohan Kameswaran. Dr.S.Sudhamaheswari,Consultant ENT surgeon,MERF runs this Special Clinic on all Fridays & Saturdays from 8 AM to 10 AM.

The MERF Head & Neck Oncology Department caters to the needs of patients suffering from various cancers of the Head and Neck regions. This Department is registered under the regional cancer registry, maintained by the nodal office at the Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar with monthly reporting & documentation of cases done under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, Government of Tamil Nadu.

The Department of Head & Neck Oncology at MERF , has constituted a multi- disciplinary 'Tumor Board', comprising Prof. Mohan Kameswaran, Prof. R. S. Anand Kumar & Dr. S. Sudhamaheswari (ENT Surgeons), Dr. M. Jagannath (Anesthesiologist), Dr. Vaidheeswaran (Radiation Oncologist), Dr. T. Raja (Medical Oncologist), Dr. V. Purushothaman (Plastic Surgeon), Dr. M. Vasudevan (Neurosurgeon), Dr. P. Naresh Kumar (Cardiothoracic Surgeon), Dr. Kasim (Dental Surgeon – Prosthodontist) and Dr. Vikram (Surgical Gastroenterologist), for comprehensive planning of various treatment protocols necessary for the management of head and neck tumors. The cancers treated at this Department include, Cancers of the Aero- Digestive Tract namely - Nasal Cavity, Sinuses, Oral cavity, Tongue, Maxilla, Mandible, Larynx, Thyroid, Salivary Glands, Lymph Nodes, Pharynx and Oesophagus. Malignant diseases of the Temporal Bone, Anterior and Lateral Skullbase tumors are also managed by this team of experts well-trained in cancer surgery.

The Department performs on an average 100 head and neck cancer surgeries every year, which includes total laryngectomy, Commando operation, mandibulectomy with free- flap reconstruction, radical neck dissection, total thyroidectomy, temporal bone resection, glossectomy, laser excision for nasal, oral & pharyngeal tumors, lateral skull base surgery for glomus tumors and endoscopic excision of anterior skull base tumors. The Department runs a dedicated special clinic on all Mondays (8am to 10 am), for the cancer patients. People having cancer in the head and neck regions are thoroughly evaluated using the latest and most advanced investigations to appropriately stage the cancer and decide upon the best modality of treatment required. Post-operative patients are carefully followed up in the clinic until they are fully cured of cancer and such patients are further referred to MERF-ISH for speech and swallowing therapy when necessary. Surgery combined with Chemotherapy and/or Radiotherapy is recommended as per standard protocols decided in the tumor board. Surgery is performed by the team mentioned above in the tumor board and patients are meticulously monitored post-operatively by specially trained medical & nursing staff in the state-of-the-art ICU, prior to transfer to wards for further recovery. Post- operative treatment with chemo- radiation is given at reputed centers in Chennai. It is a gratifying experience for this entire team of cancer experts, to see their patients fully cured from cancer. Long term follow up for a minimum period of five years after cure from cancer is always emphasized to the patients.

The Department takes special initiatives to create awareness among its patients and the general public, regarding the common causes for head and neck cancers and the ill-effects of smoking, alcohol, tobacco, zarda & gutka use. Preventive measures against cancer are propagated by this Department in the media and in social podiums.