Head of the Radiotherapy Unit for Head and Neck Cancer at the Kuwait Cancer Control Center, Dr. Ahmed Boushahri, said the head and neck cancer disease is considered one of the most complex cancers because it is located in a physically vital area, and is important for survival of functions.
Boushahri told a local Arabic daily that such tumors, as well as the side effects of treatment, may lead to several problems, including the removal of important organs, and functional problems such as difficulty swallowing, voice problems, and pain in the shoulder and neck.
He added, these problems may lead to dehydration and malnutrition. In addition, there are several psychological problems that may result from the treatment of head and neck cancer, which directly affects the success and completion of treatment, as well as affects the quality of life. Boushahri indicated that head and neck cancer constitutes about 4% of all cancers in Kuwait.
Boushahri, who is the head of the multidisciplinary team, stated that at the beginning of 2022, a multidisciplinary team was established in cooperation with the doctors of the head and neck unit such as Dr. Mustafa Sharifi, Dr Hamdi Saqr, Dr. Amani Hussein, Dr. Jitendra Shetty, Dr. Amr Shaaban, the Speech and Swallowing Unit, Clinical Nutrition Department, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Department, Psychological Care and recently with the Nursing Department and the Surgery Department, to provide patient care and an integrated treatment service.
The project is currently being expanded to enter other medical teams such as the pain clinic , chemotherapy, dentistry and audiology, and “we seek to cooperate with plastic surgery for cases that require beautification and restoration after excision operations.”
Boushahri added that an integrated treatment path has been developed for patients with head and neck cancer, which begins before starting radiotherapy and continues for five years.
In conclusion, Boushahri pointed out this is the first team of its kind for cancer patients in Kuwait.
He explained that the development in the treatment of head and neck cancer has led to an increase in the cure rate, which means that a large number of patients will live for long and therefore the presence of such a team contributes to improving patients’ experience during treatment, helping patients overcome the side effects of radiotherapy during and after treatment, and contributing to improving their quality of life.