The management of head and neck cancer in Africa. What lessons can be learned from African literature?
Journal – African Online Scientific Information Systems
Article type – Other
Publication date – Feb – 2022
Authors – Kim A. Coutts, Jaishika Seedat, Ellen Vlok
Keywords – dysphagia, Head and neck cancer, interdisciplinary, Management, rehabilitation, speech language pathology
Open access – Yes
Speciality – ENT surgery, Maxillofacial and oral surgery, Surgical oncology
World region Central Africa, Eastern Africa, Middle Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Western Africa
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on February 11, 2022 at 6:14 am
There is a significant dearth of contextually relevant information related to the management of head and neck cancer (HNC) in Africa. The aim of this letter was to put forward the findings from our larger systematic review to describe the current management of HNC patients in Africa and to identify gaps and present potential solutions. Sixty-six articles were included and analysed with descriptive statistics, a narrative synthesis, and thematic analysis. Surgical resection remains the primary medical intervention in Africa, whilst chemotherapy and radiation services remain limited. There was no mention of multidisciplinary team input in the management of these patients, including no description of any rehabilitative treatments. There are significant resource shortages ranging from access to medical equipment to both skilled medical and rehabilitative staff. The findings from this study imply that the management of HNC in Africa requires a possible transdisciplinary approach to improve access to services. Health professionals also need to explore a community-based level approach to care to improve access. There needs to be more context-specific research to improve contextually relevant teaching and practice in HNC.
OSI Number – 21475