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June 23, 2014
Loyola ENT surgeon discusses head and neck cancers
Dr. James Jaber, an ear, nose and throat surgeon and cancer specialist, was drawn to Loyola because of his Ignatian education. He talks about how 90 percent of the head and neck cancers that he and his team treat is squamous cell carcinoma. They also treat benign tumors of the salivary glands.
Of all the cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year, 3 percent are head and neck cancers. Early warning signs are neck masses, changes over time in chewing patterns or the voice, difficulty swallowing, ear pain or pain elsewhere. Having a team with a multidisciplinary approach, such as Loyola, is so important in treating these conditions, Dr. Jaber said. He talks about how salivary gland and thyroid cancers have strong environmental and genetic components. However, there are two classes of squamous cell carcinoma that are linked to smoking and drinking alcohol.
He is currently conducting research on the relationship between HPV and oral cancers. He talks about how his team meets once a week to discuss each patient's case and decide the best approach for that condition. Dr. Jaber is an expert in minimally invasive thyroid surgery and transoral robotic surgery. He's looking forward to better drugs in the future to eradicate squamous cell carcinoma.
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