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The eighth Amrita Head and Neck Oncology Teaching Program (AHEAD) was organized during February 15 – 17, 2013 at the Health Sciences campus.
The program was jointly undertaken by the Department of Head and Neck Oncology at the Amrita School of Medicine, the Foundation for Head and Neck Oncology (FHNO) and the Anti-Tobacco Movement at Amrita.
The program was inaugurated by Shri. Hibi Eden, Honorable MLA. The inaugural session was built around the theme, Tackling Tobacco, The Silent Killer.
In his keynote address, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, Head and Neck Surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, noted that only five percent of those addicted to tobacco are able to quit using it completely, even after clinical interventions.
“Ninety percent of head and neck cancers are caused by consumption of tobacco. Tobacco is the number one cause for stillbirth and the reason for fifty percent of cardiovascular diseases and eighty percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases,” he outlined.
Honorable Justice K. Narayana Kurup, Former Judge, High Court of Kerala and Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Madras stated that the right to breathe fresh air was inherent in our constitution.
“You must tell anyone who smokes next to you that it should not be done and is punishable according to section 4 of the Control of Tobacco Products Act that prohibits advertising and regulates trade and commerce, supply and distribution of tobacco products.”
During the days of the teaching program, topics such as management of tumors and cancers of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, salivary glands and neck, oral cavity and oropharynx, maxilloethmoid complex, larynx and hypopharynx were discussed by several experts.
Dr. Hiran K. R., Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at Amrita elaborated on the different types of salivary gland tumors including pleomorphic adenoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, acinic cell carcinoma, polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma and salivary duct carcinoma.
Dr. Chandrasekhar Rao, Surgical Oncologist from Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad spoke on the role of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the management of neck malignancies.
Dr. Subramania Iyer, Professor and Head of the Department of Head and Neck Oncology at Amrita discussed the prevalence, nomenclature, pathogenesis, evaluation and management of carcinoma of unknown primary.
Others who lectured included Dr. Moni Abraham Kuriakose from Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore; Dr. Arun P. from Tata Medical Center, Kolkata; Drs. Sudhir Nair and Prathamesh Pai from Tata Memorial Cancer Research Hospital, Mumbai; Dr. Pranay Gaikwad from CMC Vellore; Dr. Daxesh Patel from HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd, Bangalore; and Dr. Surij Salih from Malabar Cancer Centre, Kannur.
About 200 postgraduate scholars from various clinical disciplines such as ENT, surgical oncology, maxillofacial surgery, radiation and medical oncology from all over the country participated in AHEAD 2013.
“AHEAD – the national update on head and neck cancers held annually at Amrita is a platform for us to learn more about the subject from veterans in the field,” remarked Dr. Alice, a postgraduate scholar in oral and maxillofacial surgery, who attended.
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