Abstract THE CARE of patients with head and neck cancers requires familiarity with a variety of skills which at the present time are assigned to several different subspecialties in the medical profession, and this fact probably accounts for the therapy of these lesions lying in a medical no man's land. The otolaryngologist becomes skilled in the examination of the oral cavity, and this skill permits him to discover many primary tumors. His ability to cope with them by major surgical procedures—radical neck dissections, combined neck and jaw resections, etc.—is frequently totally lacking, so that even though he may make the diagnosis he can contribute little to the actual therapy of the patient. Many radiologists unhesitatingly accept the responsibility for treating intraoral cancers. Yet it is unusual for the average radiologist to be capable of examining, or even willing to examine, the pharynx, larynx, pyriform sinuses, or base of the tongue with a view to References 1. Martin, H., and Morfit, H. M.: Cervical Lymph Node Metastases as the First Symptom of Cancer , Surg., Gynec. & Obst. 78:133, 1944. 2. Martin, H.; Morfit, H. M., and Ehrlich, H.: The Case for Branchiogenic Cancer (Malignant Brachioma) , Ann. Surg. 132:867, 1950. 3. Peltier, L. F.; Thomas, L. B.; Barkley, H. C., and Kremen, A. J.: The Incidence of Distant Metastases Among Patients Dying with Head and Neck Cancers , Surgery 30:827, 1951. 4. Braund, R., and Martin, H.: Distant Metastasis in Cancer of the Upper Respiratory and Alimentary Tracts , Surg., Gynec. & Obst. 73:63, 1941. 5. Crile, G., Sr.: Excision of Cancer of the Head and Neck, With Special Reference to the Plan of Dissection Based on 132 Operations , J. A. M. A. 47:1780, 1906. 6. Martin, H.; Del Valle, B.; Cahan, W., and Ehrlich, H.: Neck Dissection , Cancer 4:441, 1951.
A.M.A. Archives Surgery – American Medical Association
Published: May 1, 1952
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