All you need to know about Head and Neck Cancer

Dr Sashikanth Jonnalagadda 
April 14, 2021

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The Head and Neck is a very complex region of the body and consists of several subsites like the Oral Cavity, Oropharynx (Throat), Larynx (voice box), Thyroid, Paranasal Sinuses, and Neck Lymph Nodes. Cancer that occurs in the Oral Cavity (mouth), throat, nose, paranasal sinuses, salivary glands, and other areas of the head and neck are considered Head and Neck cancer.  
  
Squamous cell carcinomas arise in the lining of the mouth, nose, and throat, account for the majority of these cancers.  
  
Because of the widespread use of Tobacco (gutka, pan masala, and betelnut), oral cancers are the most common form of cancer in India and it accounts for roughly 30 percent of all cancers in the body. Oral Cancers and other Head and Neck Cancers are also increased by smoking and alcohol consumption. 
  
Approximately 20 people out of 1,00,000 population are diagnosed with Head and Neck Cancer.  
  
It is very important to pay attention to symptoms such as non-healing ulcers in the mouth or throat, bleeding from mouth or nose, persisting sore throat, breathing or swallowing difficulty, change in voice, and swellings in the neck and face region. 
  
Head and neck tumors affect the patient's ability to chew, swallow, speak and breathe. As a result, early detection of the tumor is critical in order to increase the patient's chances of survival as well as his or her ability to speak and swallow normally during treatment. 
  
Treatment Options 

These symptoms need to be evaluated with a concerned Head and Neck Onco Surgeons who helps patients to make an informed decision about their treatment options.  The first step is to obtain a tissue sample from the affected area, which is done by a biopsy. The type of cancer will be confirmed by Histopathology, which will decide further management. 
 
The next step is staging, which entails deciding how far cancer has spread. It will be obtained by Radiological Imaging such as CT, MRI, and, on rare occasions PET scan. 
 
Cancers can be classified into four stages based on the extent of their spread. Usually, head and neck cancers are treated with surgery followed by adjuvant treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy, if necessary. The tumor and neck nodes are removed during surgery. Plastic surgery procedures are used to reconstruct the shape and function of the removed organ, allowing the patient to appear and function as normally as possible. 
  
After the treatment, the patient is kept on close surveillance for 3 to 5 years with a follow-up with his or her Head and Neck Surgeon. 

 

By Dr. Sashikanth Jonnalagadda is the Consultant - ENT, Head and Neck Oncology at American Oncology Institute

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News Network
April 21,2021

New Delhi, Apr 21: The Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced that it will price its Covishield vaccine at Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals and Rs 400 per dose for state governments.

In a statement, SII has said, "For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up the vaccine production. Going ahead, 50% of our capacities will be served to the Government of India's vaccination program, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the state governments and private hospitals."

Comparing the prices with the other vaccines in the world, SII has stated that while American vaccines are priced at Rs 1,500, Russian and Chinese vaccines would cost Rs 750 per dose, making Covishield a cheaper option.

However, the vaccine price will remain at Rs 150 per dose for the Centre.

In an order earlier this week, the Centre said all above 18 years of age are eligible for vaccination from May 1. As it liberalised the vaccination drive, the government allowed states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the vaccine doses directly from manufacturers.

Of the 12.76 crore vaccine doses administered so far, the Covishield comprises over 90% of the vaccine doses, according to government data on Wednesday. Of this, 15 states and union territories have only given Covishield.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged India's vaccine manufacturers to continuously scale up their production capacity to vaccinate all Indians in the shortest possible time. India on Wednesday recorded nearly 3 lakh fresh cases in its biggest jump so far. The death toll has also gone up by over 2,000 in a day.

Interacting with vaccine manufacturers from across the country via video conferencing, PM Modi said the private sector will play an even more active role in the vaccination drive in the coming days and that this will require better coordination between hospitals and the industry.

In another significant move, the Centre has approved advance funds of Rs 3,000 crore for the Serum Institute and Rs 1,500 crore for Bharat Biotech, which is producing the Covaxin shots.

On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson has applied to India's drug regulator seeking permission to conduct phase-3 clinical trial of its single-dose Covid-19 vaccine in India while also seeking an import licence.

They said the company has sought an early meeting of the subject expert committee on Covid-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to take a decision on its application.

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coastaldigest.com news network
April 30,2021

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New Delhi, Apr 30: Veteran lawyer and former attorney general Soli Sorabjee passed away on Friday morning after contracting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Sorabjee was 91. He was admitted to a private hospital in Delhi.

Sorabjee, a Padma Vibhushan recipient, began his legal practice in 1953 in Bombay High Court and he was designated senior counsel of the Supreme Court in 1971. He became the attorney general of India first from 1989-90 and then from 1998-2004. 

He was appointed by the United Nations as a Special Rapporteur for Nigeria in 1997 to report on the human rights situation in that country. Following this, he became a member and later chairman of the UN Sub Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights from 1998 to 2004.

He was a champion of freedom of speech and expression and had defended freedom of press in many landmark cases in the Supreme Court and had been instrumental in revoking censorship orders and bans on publications.

He was honored with the Padma Vibhushan award--the second-highest civilian award in India in March 2002 for his defence of freedom of speech and the protection of human rights.

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News Network
May 1,2021

New Delhi, May 1: In a shocking incident highlighting oxygen scarcity in the national capital, eight Covid-19 patients, including a senior doctor, died at a leading hospital here due to oxygen shortage.

Batra Hospital Medical Director Dr SCL Gupta said one of the dead was the head of the gastroenterology department, Dr RK Imrani, who was under medical care for Covid-19.

Dr Gupta said that six of the eight who died were in the Intensive Care Unit on high flow oxygen.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted soon after Gupta went on record to talk about the incident, "This news is very painful. Their lives could have been saved by giving oxygen on time. Delhi should be given its quota of oxygen. Such deaths of our people should not happen. Delhi required 976 tonnes of oxygen and yesterday (Friday) only 312 tonnes of oxygen was given. How does Delhi breathe?"

"We had alerted authorities that we were running out of oxygen. Our desperate SOS did not get an immediate response. When we received oxygen, eight patients were no more. Those people could have been rescued. This is not right," he added.

"This is happening in Delhi, the national capital, and if it is happening here, you can imagine what is happening in other parts of the country," he said.

Delhi government and city hospitals have been raising the issue of oxygen scarcity in the capital for the past couple of weeks. Earlier, there were reports that 25 people died due to lack of oxygen in Ganga Ram Hospital though the officials there denied any such possibility.

The capital has been witnessing a huge demand for medical oxygen and several people have lost their lives as hospitals and families could not arrange oxygen on time. Serpentine queues were seen at oxygen refilling units while there were also complaints that some of the suppliers were over-charging consumers.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led government has projected a demand of 976 tonnes of oxygen daily while the Centre has allocated 490 tonnes of oxygen daily.

"Not for a single day has Delhi been able to receive the allocated quantity of 490 MT oxygen. Every day is an SOS situation for Delhi," Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted on Friday.

On Saturday, the Delhi High Court warned the Centre that it will initiate contempt proceedings against it if it does not provide 490 tonne of oxygen today.

"If not implemented we will have the head of DPIIT shall remain present, in case of non compliance we may consider initiating contempt proceedings," it added. 

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