Early detection of head, or neck cancers reduces treatment and improves survival rates. The reason we have a national two week rule on fast tracking referrals, an approach which had more or less been kept to until early 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic brought high levels of disruption to healthcare services and remains an issue. Specialist appointments, or vital treatment can be delayed, pathways throughout care tend to be less well managed.
People with concerns are also less likely to visit their doctor, or dentist, staff at both types of practice can be under pressure. The danger of serious conditions being neglected is evident.
A Change Of Approach
After notable reduction in health services during the pandemic’s first wave, the danger of more people becoming seriously ill from other causes led to change.
Plans revolved around setting up Covid free hubs, to reduce infection levels and prioritise cancer diagnosis, or treatment. An approach which worked in some areas, although further waves of Covid-19 created delays.
There is also the issue of specialist skills being available. Accurate diagnosis of head and neck cancer is challenging, treatment should go beyond cure and survival, quality of life and aesthetic needs matter.
The best treatment requires skilled consultant surgeons, with the ability to carry out free tissue transfer. Careful clinical follow up is essential, to aid rehabilitation and look to the longer term.
A Maxillofacial Centre
As the principle of virus free hubs suggests, the only true answer to maintaining fine care is a dedicated facility. One where maxillofacial consultants can focus on supporting patients with head, or neck cancer.
Our team are pleased to be able to provide this in Harley Street, even though there are restrictions. We are unable to treat patients who have Covid-19, are subject to isolation, or are showing symptoms.
Additional precautions are still taken, as they should be but knowing there is a place where treatment is more or less normal is valuable. This helps to remove the anxiety and uncertainty cancer can bring.
For your safety as well as our staff, we may initially talk with you by video, although face to face appointments are available. Diagnosis and treatment levels are on a par with those before the advent of coronavirus.
In current circumstances, you may experience difficulty in seeing your doctor, or dentist as often. If you have any concerns about possible symptoms, by all means contact us directly without a referral.
All the advice you need is available, or an appointment with a maxillofacial consultant where that helps. In times where feeling more isolated is quite common, we wish to ensure support is there for you.
Diagnosing and treating oral, or facial cancers at the earliest possible stage is critical, for immediate needs and ongoing wellbeing. Please contact our team if we can help in any way.