𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫 𝐒𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐬: 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐍𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚

Posted on Jul 27, 2023


Head and neck cancers encompass a diverse group of malignant tumors affecting the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, nasal cavity, sinuses, and salivary glands. India bears a considerable burden of head and neck cancers due to various risk factors, including tobacco and alcohol consumption, betel nut chewing, and high prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in certain regions. To combat the challenges posed by these cancers, the role of head and neck cancer surgeons becomes indispensable in providing specialized care.

𝑷𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵𝒆𝒄𝒌 𝑪𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝑰𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒂

India has one of the highest burdens of head and neck cancers globally, with the disease being responsible for a significant proportion of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. The prevalence varies regionally, with oral cavity cancers being most common, followed by cancers of the pharynx, larynx, and thyroid. The increasing prevalence of HPV-associated head and neck cancers, particularly oropharyngeal cancers, has added to the complexity of managing these malignancies.

𝑺𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 𝑵𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒆 𝑻𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒇 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵𝒆𝒄𝒌 𝑪𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒓 𝑺𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒔

Head and neck cancer surgeons undergo rigorous and specialized training that equips them with comprehensive knowledge and expertise in managing head and neck malignancies. After completing medical school and ENT training, these surgeons undergo additional fellowship training focused on head and neck oncology. This specialized training encompasses advanced surgical techniques, reconstruction procedures, and the complexities of addressing functional and aesthetic aspects in this sensitive anatomical region.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐎𝐧𝐜𝐨 𝐒𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐬

Head and neck cancer surgeons play a pivotal role in the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancers. They collaborate closely with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and other healthcare professionals to develop tailored treatment plans for each patient. Surgical resection is often the primary treatment for localized head and neck cancers, and the expertise of these specialized surgeons is crucial in achieving optimal oncologic outcomes while preserving important functions like speech and swallowing.

Furthermore, head and neck cancer surgeons are skilled in performing complex reconstructive procedures after tumor resection. These procedures aim to restore form and function in patients, helping them regain a better quality of life. Additionally, they actively participate in clinical trials and research efforts to advance treatment options and improve patient outcomes.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫 𝐒𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐡𝐲𝐫𝐨𝐢𝐝 𝐒𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬

Thyroid surgeries are another critical aspect of head and neck cancer surgery. While thyroid nodules and cancers can be managed by various surgical specialties, head and neck cancer surgeons bring unique advantages to the table. Due to their in-depth understanding of the complex anatomy of the neck and their extensive experience in neck dissections, these surgeons can perform thyroid surgeries with utmost precision, reducing the risk of complications and ensuring complete tumor removal.

Moreover, head and neck cancer surgeons are adept at dealing with recurrent and aggressive thyroid cancers, which may require extensive surgical interventions. Their ability to navigate delicate structures, such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve and parathyroid glands, sets them apart as the most qualified professionals for thyroid surgeries in the context of head and neck cancers.


Head and neck cancer surgeons are the backbone of comprehensive care for patients with head and neck cancers in India. Their specialized training, dedication, and expertise play a significant role in achieving better treatment outcomes and enhancing patients' quality of life. As the prevalence of head and neck cancers continues to pose a public health challenge in India, it is crucial to recognize and support the pivotal role of these skilled professionals in the fight against these malignancies. Emphasizing the importance of specialized training and collaboration within multidisciplinary teams will undoubtedly contribute to improving the management and prognosis of head and neck cancers in the country.


Dr. Deepak Janardhan