Head and neck cancer
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Head and neck cancer (tumours developing in the tissues and organs of the head and neck) includes cancers of the nasal cavity and sinuses, the pharyngeal area, the mouth, voice box and oesophagus. The Head and Neck cancer team also treats cancers of the thyroid and non-melanoma skin cancer of the head and neck.
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust offers a comprehensive diagnostic service including a full range of specialist endoscopic services, biopsy and Fine Needle Aspiration. The Rapid Access Service means that patients receive many of these diagnostic tests in one visit.
To further aid diagnosis, the Radiology Department provides a comprehensive imaging service (including MRI, CT and ultrasound technologies) whilst the Pathology service provides expert analysis of blood, cells and tissues.
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Head and neck cancers are usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy (or a combination of treatments). The type of surgery needed and the particular combination of surgery, and therapy, will depend on the type and complexity of cancer.
The head and neck surgical team at St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust performs the majority of procedures for this type of cancer within the southwest London area. St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the regional centre for all skull-base surgery relating to cancer and also benefits from having the regional neurosurgical unit on site.
Patients have the opportunity to receive speech and language therapy as well as specialist advice from a dietician. St George's Hospital is the only hospital in the area with a Restorative Dental service for dental maintenance and rehabilitation following surgery and also hosts the regional maxillofacial laboratory, providing expertise in prosthetic rehabilitation,
St George's Hospital is a large teaching hospital with the full range of skills and support services needed to be able to carry out complex cancer surgery. These include intensive care (ITU), anaesthetic and pain management services, which are all available on site.
The head and neck cancer team includes specialist surgeons, clinical nurse specialists, Speech and Language therapists, dieticians, medical and clinical oncologists, radiologists and pathologists.