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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 1114-1116

Management of the neck in early oral cancers: Is the verdict out?


1 Department of Surgical Oncology, HCG Cancer Center, Head and Neck Services, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of ENT-Head Neck Surgery, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, KLE University, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Surgical Oncology, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vishal U. S. Rao
Department of Surgical Oncology, HCG Cancer Center, Head and Neck Services, #8 HCG Towers, P. Kalinga Rao Road, Sampangiram Nagar, Bengaluru - 560 078, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.164705

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The management of patients with the clinically negative neck (N0) in early oral cancers awaits a clear mandate despite growing evidence favoring elective neck dissection. Having a general policy of operating all N0 neck may indeed increase the number of unnecessary neck dissection in the true pathological N0 necks, a more commonly encountered scenario. This controversy needs to be looked beyond statistical evidence to address a larger question to “does the neck truly harbor disease,” thus, refining the early age old debate. This article highlights the feasibility of wait and watch policy, while elaborating a stringent algorithm to judiciously select patients in whom the neck may be safely observed.


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