Tobacco use and alcohol intake key risk factors for head and neck cancer

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The International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium is a collaboration of research groups leading large epidemiology studies to improve the understanding of the causes and mechanisms of head and neck cancer. This overview paper provides a summary their findings over the past decade.

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Oral cancer- monoclonal antibodies combined with standard treatment may improve outcomes


12 trials were included in this Cochrane review of molecularly targeted therapies and immunotherapies as adjuncts to standard treatments for oral cancer. Moderate evidence was found that standard therapy plus epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody (EGFR mAb) reduced mortality and locoregional failures.

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Positive association between alcohol drinking and upper aerodigestive tract cancers


Mouth cancers form part of a wider group of upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancers (oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and oesphagus), which are strongly associated with smoking and alcohol. The aim of this review was to quantify the association between alcohol drinking and UADT cancer mortality The Medline and ISI Web of Science databases were searched [read the full story…]

Insufficient evidence to refute or support the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for patients with head and neck cancer


Worldwide there are more than 500,000 new cases of head and neck cancer annually, making it the 5th most common cancer.  A diagnosis of head and neck cancer has a significant psychosocial impact and interventions have been developed to help patients cope with the emotional and social impact of the condition. The aim of this [read the full story…]

No randomised controlled trials to support or refute the extraction or non-extraction of teeth prior to radiotherapy of head and neck


Globally about 3% of cancers are head and neck cancers.  Dental examination and completion of any necessary treatment is recommended prior to any radiotherapy required for patients with head and neck cancer. The aim of this Cochrane review was to assess whether the pre-radiation extraction of diseased or non-diseased molars compared to conservative treatment reduced [read the full story…]

Evidence updates from NHS Evidence


Two recent evidence updates from NHS evidence have been published.  These updates  higlight new evidence related to these topic areas and provide a commentary on this new evidence. The topics are Improving outcomes in head and neck cancer Sedation in children and young people    –   This focuses on a summary of selected new evidence [read the full story…]

Weak evidence for honey in prevention of oral mucositis for cancer patients radiotherapy

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Oral mucositis is a common side effect of  the treatment of malignancy with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Two Cochrane reviews (see below) have looked more broadly at interventions for  prevention and treatment of this unpleasant side effect of treatment.  The aim of this review was to assess the protective effect of honey in head and neck [read the full story…]

NSAIDs and the risk of head and neck cancer

Assorted pills

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) use  has been associated with a reduced risk of a number of  cancers. The mechanism is thought to be via the inhibitory action on the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme, COX-2.  The aim of this review was to investigate the association between NSAID/aspirin use and risk of head and neck cancer (HNC). The [read the full story…]