Head and Neck Cancers Are Rising Among Younger Men; What Treatment Options Are Available

Article ID: 672083

Released: 3-Apr-2017 5:05 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

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  • Credit: UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

    Dr. Abie Mendelsohn

Oropharyngeal cancer is a type of head and neck cancer more common in men than women. The American Cancer Society found that people are typically diagnosed with the disease at age 62, but one-quarter of patients are younger than 55 years of age.

The increase in oropharyngeal cancers is linked to the human papilloma virus (HPV), and most typically seen in white men and women. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that causes warts on the genitals, and in the mouth and throat.

Nearly 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer this year, and about 10,000 are expected to die from the disease.

Dr. Abie Mendelsohn is an assistant professor-in-residence in the department of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research and surgical techniques have helped to establish UCLA as one of the highest volume centers for transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) in the western United States. Mendelsohn's clinical success has allowed UCLA to qualify for multi-institutional randomized control trials studying the role of minimally invasive surgery in the treatment of tonsil and tongue carcinoma, which serves as a major scientific endeavor. In addition to studying advances in surgical treatment of throat cancer, his current research efforts also include improving voice function following laryngeal cancer treatment and uncovering surveillance strategies for early detection of throat cancer.

Mendelsohn can discuss the latest type of sophisticated technology that he uses to treat the disease, and whether the current screening guidelines for head and neck cancers should be updated.

The UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 500 researchers and clinicians engaged in cancer research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In August 2016, the Jonsson cancer center ranked among the top five cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.


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