• Your treatment
• Your support
• Your choices
• Your life
Your first consultation will probably be made on the recommendation of your doctor, although you can contact us directly if you wish. We are often contacted directly by people who require a second opinion on a diagnosis they have received.
You will receive an examination, but this first visit will feel more like an interview than an examination.
Whatever the reason for your visit, the aim of the initial consultation is to find out about you, your lifestyle and your symptoms so that your MDT team will know which further tests are required to make a diagnosis and work out a treatment plan.
Cancer is the most common worry, but there are many other reasons for visiting us . Most lumps and bumps are not cancerous but early diagnosis of any new lump or bump is very important.
An early diagnosis is much safer as the outcomes are much better if cancer is caught early.
MRI scanner provides 3D internal pictures.
Its very probable that further tests will be needed to arrive at a diagnosis and may continue to be used as part of your treatment plan.
These test may include:
• Nasendoscopic examination
• Ultrasound scan
• Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
• Incisional biopsy
• MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
• CT (computerised tomography) scan
• PET CT scan
Once a diagnosis has been made then a plan is drawn up for your treatment.
The multidisciplinary team works together to decide the best way to proceed with your treatment. You will be presented with the full range of treatment options and will be kept fully involved at every stage. Members of your team will include whichever experts are required for your condition. Typically they may include surgeons, oncologists, specialist head and neck radiologists, pathologists, dietitians, speech and language therapists, dentists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons and specialist nurses. Your team will meet at least once every week to discuss the diagnosis and assess your progress once your treatment plan starts.
You will be assigned a 'key worker' - a clinical nurse specialist who will be responsible for co-ordinating your care. Their function is to support you through the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up after treatment is completed.
Cancer: A cancer diagnosis is a possibility. There are many different types which can start in the mouth, nose, throat, salivary glands, or neck. The most common types are oral or mouth cancer and thyroid cancer.
Patients under our care are among the first beneficiaries of the ongoing research at UCL (University College London) . UCL is Mr Kalavrezos' research base and is at the forefront of developing cancer care. Their cross-disciplinary approach brings researchers together to advance the understanding of cancer and develop improved diagnostics and treatments. They are also bringing the world’s most advanced form of radiotherapy, proton beam therapy, to the UK.
Head and neck cancers are usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy or a combination of these. The type of surgery needed and the treatment ratios will depend on the type and complexity of cancer.
The main aim of treating cancer is to remove or destroy all of it and provide a cure. But there are other aims such as reducing the long term effects of treatment and maintaining your quality of life. This involves key decisions on the amount of surgery and which methods can be used. Reconstructive surgery to the head, neck or face may form part of your recovery process.
Statistically, most tumours or growths are benign. If this is the case then your treatment will mostly involve surgery without radiation or chemotherapy being necessary .
But early diagnosis is always important since benign tumours can become malignant if left.
From initial diagnosis to the completion of your treatment, the priority is to keep you at the centre of the process and ensure continuity. Whereas several experts on your team may not remain involved at all stages, it is the job of the key worker assigned to you to support you and possibly your family through your whole journey.
The key workers are usually clinical nurse specialists. Key worker support services can include psychological support from trained counsellors, and a range of complementary therapies.
Patients who have finished treatment will be monitored for varying periods of time to check the recovery process, or in the case of cancer, to check for any signs that it has returned or become active again.