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Cancer in the oral cavity and neck

Photo - Professor Andreas Sesterhenn during one of the operations that can last up to twelve hours. In such cases, two teams of doctors work with the patient in parallel. One team removes the tumor, the second is preparing for the transplantation of tissues.

Professor Andreas Sesterhenn is a specialist in the treatment of advanced tumors in the head.

Tumors in the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx are diagnosed, is tantamount to a nightmare. "It is also one of the reasons that patients go to the doctor so late", said Professor Andreas Sesterhenn. Chief physician of the Clinic of otorhinolaryngology and surgery of head and neck at the City clinic, Solingen knows that his patients are just afraid of bad news and consequences.

After all, in cancer of the mouth and throat there are not many possibilities of therapy. If untreated, the patient often complains of dysphagia, hoarseness and severe pain when swallowing. Many patients experience rapid weight loss or feel a big knot in the neck. In such cases this type of cancer represents for patients a complete torture, while at later stages it causes danger of suffocation, and the patient may receive very small portions of food solely through gastric tube.

Ordinary people are still scared of it, and not only because the operated patients were missing a larynx, and they can communicate using a kind of mechanical speech. We are talking primarily about large defects in the head and neck that are visible to everyone around, and especially it took place in the past.

Help exists, however, it is complex and very expensive. In Marburg, where Dr. Sesterhenn practiced for twelve years, Professor he operated completely alone, with this surgery could last up to 14 hours. Today, thanks to new cycles of operations, surgeons work in high-tech operating rooms is more appropriate. So at the same time there are two teams that complement each other. While the two doctors operate on the tumor, the second group prepares the place where the patient will get supplied with blood tissue. "Then this tissue will be transplanted into the place where we removed the tumor," says Andreas Sesterhenn. The doctor says: "the hole that remains after removal of the tumor of the neck or head, basically can be closed only through additional grafting. So, the size of the used Islands of tissue with arterial and venous blood supply, which are collected from the patient from other places, as, for example, from the back, shoulders, hips or forearms, may reach 40 centimeters. "Through the use of reconstructive methods we save people swallowing function and speech," says Sisterhen. He has patients from various age groups, but especially often this type of cancer affects people aged 50 to 65 years.

"My patients have no foster".
Professor Andreas Sesterhenn

Photo - Professor Andreas Sesterhenn. Directs the Clinic of surgery of the head and neck at the City clinic, Solingen in may 2012.



HEAD AND NECK Tumors of this type account for five percent of all cancers worldwide, and are sixth in the incidence of cancer.


SMOKING Alcohol and Smoking are especially conducive to the development of this cancer. 85% of these tumors are associated with Smoking. A smoker gets cancer 15 times more likely than non-smokers.


The DIAGNOSIS of This cancer is annually diagnosed in about 600,000 people worldwide. 350 000 patients die from this disease.

CLINIC AT the Clinic of otorhinolaryngology and surgery of head and neck are approximately five senior doctors under the guidance of Andreas Sesterhenn. This doctor in 2010, was awarded the title of Professor at the University of Marburg named Philip, and in the spring of 2012 he is the chief doctor of the clinic in Solingen.


PERSONAL LIFE Professor Andreas Sesterhenn (43) is married and has three children. Enjoys exploring the highlands, is a reserves officer in the mountain infantry troops. To work from Hilden he arrives on a Bicycle.


In Asia this form of cancer is very common. There the development of cancer of the mouth and throat are especially conducive to the abuse of betel nut and nitrosamines, which are released when brining fish. Unlike other cancers in that case, chemotherapy or radiation therapy are less effective, however, is appropriate as an adjuvant therapy after surgery. "In these cases we are better and more accurately can operate with tissue, not treated", explains Andreas Sesterhenn. Dr. Sesterhenn knows that in the past his patients had a significantly worse prognosis.

Including because in the Western countries they often come from socially disadvantaged segments of the population. The development of carcinomas in the oral cavity and pharynx contributes to a very unhealthy lifestyle. The abuse of nicotine in large quantities and chronic alcoholism are often the cause of this disease. "However, we are not talking about one or two glasses of beer a day," says the doctor, and recalls one of his patients in Marburg, who drank three bottles of vodka daily. Andreas Sesterhenn says: "In contrast to patients suffering from colon cancer or breast, my patients have no reception. They often come from socially disadvantaged segments of the population where Smoking and alcohol play an important role." However, the doctor knows that, and poor oral hygiene also contributes to the development of this type of cancer. In General, this disease most often strikes people with whom society does not want to have anything to do. The disease, which is always associated with some professions of "high risk" from the chemical industry, and most of all Smoking are, to date, from a scientific point of view gets a completely new, frightening direction. According to new data, are increasingly responsible for the development of carcinoma of the cavity of mouth and pharynx, in particular, is the "human papilloma virus" (HPV) that causes cancer of the uterus. Insidious, aggressive virus that can be transmitted by oral classic. "And thus it falls in all other areas of public life," says Andreas Sesterhenn.

Criticism of Professor: The evidence has not yet been comprehensively studied. Vaccination against human papilloma virus (to prevent cervical cancer) for girls are already paying the health insurance Fund. In the case of boys formal recommendations that would give the standing Committee on vaccination at the Robert Koch Institute, yet. Scientific studies on the subject dealt with by the staff of the Clinic of otolaryngology, Solingen.


Reporting Uli Preuss (text and photos)




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