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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 225-229

Optimizing multimodality treatment for head and neck cancer in rural India

1 Trivedi Polyclinic and Nursing Home, Mehsana, Gujarat; Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center and NH, Bangalore, India
2 Trivedi Polyclinic and Nursing Home, Mehsana, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
N P Trivedi
Trivedi Polyclinic and Nursing Home, Mehsana, Gujarat; Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center and NH, Bangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.102917

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Background: Multimodality treatment of head and neck cancer in rural India is not always feasible due to lack of infrastructure and logistics. Aim: To demonstrate the feasibility of multimodality treatment for head and neck cancer in a community setting in rural India. Setting and Design: Community cancer center, retrospective review. Materials and Methods: This article focuses on practice environment in a cancer clinic in rural India. We evaluated patient profile, treatment protocols, infrastructure availability, factors impacting treatment decisions, cost estimations, completion of treatment, and major treatment-related complications for the patient population treated in our clinic for a 2-year period. Results: A total of 230 head and neck cancer patients were treated with curative intent. Infrastructure support included basic operating room facility (cautery machine, suction, drill system, microscope, and anesthesia machine without ventilator support), blood bank, histopathology laboratory, and computerized tomography machine. Radiation therapy (RT) facility was available in a nearby city, about 75 km away. One hundred and fifty-four (67%) patients presented at an advanced stage, with 138 (60%) receiving multimodality treatment. One hundred and eighty-four (80%) patients underwent primary surgery and 167 (73%) received radiotherapy. Two hundred and twelve (92%) patients completed the treatment, 60 (26%) were lost to follow-up at 18-month median follow-up (range 12-26 months), with 112 patients (66%) being alive, disease free. Totally 142 were major head neck surgeries with 25 free flap reconstructions and 41 regional flaps. There were 15 (6%) major post-op complications and two perioperative mortalities. Average cost of treatment for single modality treatment was approximately 40,000 INR and for multimodality treatment was 80,000 INR. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that it is feasible to provide basic multimodality treatment to head and neck cancer patients in the community.


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