“In Italy in 2021 there were almost 10,000, 9,900 to be exact, new diagnoses for head and neck malignant tumors, especially among men (the ratio is 2.5 to 1 in favor of males). These are cancers that cause 4 thousand deaths every year. However, 80% of patients survive 5 years after diagnosis if the lymph nodes are not involved. “Thus Gaetano Paludetti, director of the head and neck sensory organs university department and director of the Otolaryngology Section of the Gemelli Irccs University Hospital of Rome. , on the sidelines of the 108th National Congress of the Italian Society of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery in progress in Rome and whose works will close on Saturday May 28. “These are data from the Higher Institute of Health but to give an idea – he continues – in my hospital every year treats 300 patients suffering from a malignant tumor of the oral cavity, rather than the oropharynx (tonsillar region), nose and paranasal sinuses, larynx, salivary glands, ear and neck. Most of the cases concern people over 60 years of age but there is no shortage of young people, the most affected by nasopharyngeal cancer. However, these patients are never talked about just because the numbers of head and neck malignancies they suffer are not those of breast and lung cancer. Sorry to say but it is the truth “. “This event marks a record number of registrations – says Paludetti who is also president of the congress -. The numbers say it: over two thousand members, 65 preconvention courses, 200 round tables, 450 video and face-to-face communications, 68 posters ”. And precisely from the “mass of scientific activity – underlines Paludetti – oncology of the head and neck is confirmed as the central focus, the most popular topic because it is a very complex but little known oncology that profoundly modifies people’s quality of life. , if an early diagnosis cannot be made. Not only that, but in our departments it is oncological surgery that takes the lion’s share of nose and ear surgery “. Other nasal sinus pathologies (allergic rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis, nasal polyposis) were also at the center of the congress, “for which – adds the expert – there are many innovations in the pharmacological field. Some of these diseases are serious because they are more systemic, involving the lungs (asthma) and the lower airways in general. Another field of interest that I see represented is the problem of sleep apnea, a constantly increasing disorder that has a huge impact on people’s quality of life. Then there are the problems with the voice, with the vocal cords. In short, otolaryngology surgery is vast and complex, we do not only deal with adenoids and tonsils. it is an understatement just to think about it “. On the research front, Paludetti has no doubts: “Clinical research – he concludes – is fundamentally based on the evolution of technology with the use of robotic equipment that also includes the intervention of artificial intelligence. We are certainly moving towards telemedicine. But there is also the research that is at the basis of the evolution of real medicine, of the treatment of diseases. I am referring to molecular research, to pharmacological research, to the research of pathogenetic mechanisms that help us to understand why certain pathologies develop. In this field we are witnessing an enormous evolution of molecular medicine and genetics “.
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