Head and neck tumours
Head and neck tumours are uncommon in children. Only in a paediatric tertiary care centre, such as The Hospital for Sick Children, can enough experience amass for the development of expertise in dealing with these complex problems. The surgical concepts and techniques developed for the treatment of head and neck tumours in adults can be safely applied to the child, but special consideration must be given to future growth and developmental issues. An example of such a situation would be in the treatment of juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma where surgical removal is preferred over external beam radiation for tumours which are extracranial.
For any head and neck tumour, the implications of treatment must be considered very carefully. Decisions regarding treatment are usually made at a multidisciplinary tumour board. Each specialist gives input as to the efficacy and consequences of the treatment proposed. The final decision as to what treatment is decided upon is arrived at by concensus. Progress and changes in the treatment plan are also monitored via tumour board rounds. Only with all the child's caregivers involved in the decision making process, can the best possible result be achieved.
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