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Multidisciplinary care provides targeted treatment of head and neck cancer

While the number of positive cancer diagnoses continues to increase, treatment options for specific cancers such as those of the head and neck are constantly improving, with multidisciplinary teams providing specialised and targeted treatments that offer very real hope for positive outcomes.
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So says Yahya Atiya, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist and head and neck surgeon who practises at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital in Krugersdorp.

Atiya and his colleagues at the hospital provide an end-to-end service for the treatment of cancers specific to the areas of the head and neck, such as cancer of the oral cavity, vocal cords and salivary glands.

“Addressing individual patient needs through a totally holistic approach maximises positive outcomes for people fighting cancer while minimising the daily challenges of treatment during what can be a difficult and emotional journey,” he says.

“By working together in a multidisciplinary team, we are able to consider treatment options from all angles, which helps to identify the best possible course of treatment for each patient based on their specific type of cancer, personal circumstances and needs.”

Atiya, who is a fellow of the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncological Societies, explains that he is part of a multidisciplinary team at the hospital that also includes a physician, oncologists for both the radiation and chemotherapy services offered, radiologists, anaesthetists, specialised nursing staff and partners in allied disciplines including speech therapy, audiology, maxillo-facial surgery and plastic surgery.

Patient navigating service

“Receiving a positive cancer diagnosis is a life-changing experience and embarking on the treatment journey can be overwhelming,” says Constance Majeke, general manager at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital.

“Part of our comprehensive head and neck cancer care offering includes a patient navigation service, which is provided by highly trained nursing specialists who stand by patients as their advocates.

“These nurses form a single point of communication between the patient and the various medical professionals involved in their treatment, and are dedicated to guiding and supporting patients from diagnosis to completion of care, providing much needed peace of mind throughout. This prevents the patient from expending unnecessary energy that could be better focused on getting well again.

“Through this holistic approach we are able to place each and every person at the centre of our care and we hope that the specialised head and neck cancer services we offer will make all the difference in the lives of those who choose us as their partner in their treatment journey,” concludes Majeke.

Read more: cancer, Netcare, oncology

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