Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Today is World Head & Neck Cancer Day

Today is World Head & Neck Cancer Day Dear Colleague We are all aware that Head-Neck Cancer is among the most common cancers in the Indian subcontinent. Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) with a global incidence of over 500,000 cases and 200,000 deaths annually is the leading cause of mortality and disability in many parts of the world. In India also it accounts for nearly 1.5 lakh cases every year. It mainly affects people in the productive age group, yet most of this mortality and morbidity is preventable. The burden of HNSCC is putting a strain on our national health care systems and impoverishing individuals, families and society. The International Federation of Head & Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) has declared to observe 27th July as "World Head & Neck Cancer Day (WHNCD)" to draw the world’s attention on effective care and control of HNSCC, for all to work together and also to reduce use of Tobacco- the most prevalent but preventable cause of Head & Neck Cancer. The move is supported by many Head Neck Societies around the globe, numerous Governments, UICC and civil society organizations. IFHNOS is a global organization established through cooperation of national and regional Societies and Organizations in the Specialty of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology with membership from national and regional multidisciplinary organizations, representing 65 countries. The purpose of the Federation is to provide a common platform for Specialists in the field of Head and Neck Cancer to interact in professional matters of mutual interest. IFHNOS declared 27th July as World Head & Neck Cancer Day on the occasion of its 5th World Congress in New York on 27th July 2014, the largest gathering of Head and Neck Cancer specialists in history. Oral Cancers are often associated with smoking and alcohol use, however, oropharyngeal cancers (cancer of back or base of tongue and tonsils are associated with human papilloma virus and marijuana use as well as smoking and alcohol use. WHNCD targets two areas: • Advocacy for strengthening health care system and introduce community-based approaches for awareness, risks, prevention and early detection of HNSCC. • Enhance expertise of physicians by upgrading their knowledge and skills through CME programs. WHNCD activities can be :- o Educating the physicians on early diagnosis, current treatment paradigms and frontiers in research in Head and Neck Cancer o Awareness programs for the general public. o Free screening for Head and Neck cancers. o Interaction with cancer survivors and their families. o Interaction with government and policy makers. Involvement of newspaper and electronic media, other NGOs and Government representatives in the programs will give wide publicity and spread awareness too. IMA supports this International movement to increase awareness, promote education & training in early diagnosis and treatment of this imminently preventable cancer. (Contributions from Dr Dilip Kumar Acharya, Chairman-IMA National Cancer & Tobacco Control Committee)

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