World Head-Neck Cancer day is celebrated on 27 th July of every year. Head and neck cancers represent the sixth most common cancer worldwide with approximately 630,000 new patients diagnosed annually resulting in more than 350,000 deaths every year. Alcohol, smoking, chewing tobacco, poor oral hygiene and human papilloma virus infection are some of the causes of head and neck cancer. The practice of head and neck cancer is presently challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the department of ENT at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur conducted a webinar on “Head and Neck Cancer practice during the COVID Pandemic” on 27 th July 2020.
The Speaker was Dr. Mahamaya Prasad Singh, Head and Neck Oncologist and Reconstructive Surgeon from Guwahati, Assam. It was focused at updating medical fraternity across India about various challenges in diagnosis and management of Head-Neck cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This consisted of PowerPoint presentation by invited speaker followed by interactive question and answer session to give clear guidelines while tackling head and neck malignancy during these challenging times. The take home messages of the webinar were:
1. COVID -19 pandemic will directly and indirectly affect all facets of treatment of patients with Head and Neck
2. Decision regarding patient care should be personalized and balancing the risk of exposure with the benefit of life
saving cancer treatment.
3. Patients with head and neck mucosal malignancy require continued treatment despite the current pandemic state.
4. Care must be taken at all stages of treatment to minimize the risk to patients and healthcare workers.
Individual and institutional logins including government and private medical colleges and health care
professionals from across India participated in the webinar. Relevant topics and queries of participants were
discussed with the speaker. The event was successfully conducted under the guidance of Maj Gen (Dr) Vibha Dutta,
SM, Director & CEO and Officiating Medical Superintendent Dr. Manish Shrigiriwar.