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CANCER OF THE THROAT: LET'S NOT LOSE OUR VOICE

An early laryngeal tumour can be treated without the loss of our three fundamental functions: speaking, eating, and breathing. But it is essential to place one’s trust in a specialist facility.

Recently published statistics from the Italian National Agency for Regional Health Services (AGENAS) National Outcomes Programme confirm that in 2018, the Head and Neck Division of the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) performed more minimally-invasive laryngeal cancer procedures than any other institution in Italy and the most cancer surgeries for head and neck neoplasms in the region of Lombardy (number 2 in Italy).

 

It is a significant that, with 5,000 new cases of laryngeal cancer per year in men and 500 in women, Italy has the highest incidence of this type of cancer in Europe. Males are at the highest risk.

 

«According to Mohssen Ansarin, Director of the IEO’s Head and Neck Programme, although laryngeal cancer is, fortunately, a rare disease, it must be treated early. Today, we have access to sophisticated technology to accurately diagnose and effectively treat the initial laryngeal tumour, including in outpatient surgery. Thanks to minimally-invasive surgery, the tumour can be removed while preserving the functions of this important organ. Broadly speaking, these tools, which are very expensive, as well as the clinical experience necessary to operate the equipment and achieve the best outcomes, are only available in highly specialised centres».

However, awareness of the importance of an early and accurate diagnosis is not very widespread in Italy. Why is that? Laryngeal cancer is associated with smoking, which is the biggest risk factor, and the most common symptom is persistent hoarseness lasting at least three consecutive weeks. Generally speaking, heavy smokers are fatalistic and largely unwilling to consider their own risk of falling ill, which explains why they tend to disregard this alarm signal sounded by the body. It is precisely this population that needs to receive the message loud and clear that medicine has not abandoned them and that tools and methods have been developed to safeguard their quality of life in the event of disease. But we also ask that smokers find the will to give up this dangerous habit and take better care of themselves.

PARTNERSHIP

Università degli Studi di Milano Ecancer Medical Science IFOM-IEO Campus

CREDITS

Ministero della Salute Joint Commission International Breastcertification bollinirosa

© 2013 Istituto Europeo di Oncologia - via Ripamonti 435 Milano - P.I. 08691440153 - Codice intermediario fatturazione elettronica: A4707H7

IRCCS - ISTITUTO DI RICOVERO E CURA A CARATTERE SCIENTIFICO