Bengaluru: CANCON 2019, the 3rd edition of scientific deliberations on head and neck cancer management, powered by Cytecare Cancer Hospitals in Bengaluru, commenced on a pleasantly unusual note. Nalini Satyanarayan, 70, played the flute through her stoma (a hole in the neck) before a delighted audience, comprising 250 head and neck cancer experts from across India.
Diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009, Nalini Satyanarayana had lost her voice box and her ability to speak. However, timely surgery and her spirited attitude helped the septuagenarian win the battle against cancer.
The two-day CANCON 2019, started on July 27, 2019, at Royal Orchid Resort & Convention Centre, Bengaluru, brought together India’s finest healthcare professionals in otolaryngology, maxillofacial and general surgery, surgical, radiation and medical oncology, pain and palliative medicine, speech and swallowing pathology, and other practitioners with special interest in head and neck oncology.
This year’s theme was ‘Consensus Guidelines in Management of Oral Cancer – Resection, Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Research’. Oral cancer is counted among the leading cancers in India, accounting for the maximum number of cases in the world. CANCON 2019 had focused scientific discussions on developing consensus guidelines to balance oncological outcomes with functional rehabilitation.
Speaking at the inauguration of the premier academic event, Dr Vikram Kekatpure, Organizing Chairman and Senior Consultant at Cytecare Hospitals, said, “India accounts for the highest number of oral cancer cases in the world – about 80,000 every year. In order to fight this epidemic, healthcare experts need to share their knowledge, discuss and collaborate for better outcomes. CANCON 2019 aims to help facilitate focused discussions on resection techniques, advances in reconstruction, rehabilitation and research. We look forward to two days of engaging deliberations and new learnings.”
Dr Girish Shetkar, organizing secretary and Consultant at Cytecare Hospitals further added, “The success of the previous two editions of CANCON fortified our belief in the need for such academic conversations with cancer experts across India. The pace of research and new developments in the field demand that we need to be in sync with the latest advances in radiation techniques, targeted therapy, molecular markers, etc. Only then can we offer our patients the best functional outcomes.”
CANCON 2019 was strategically structured to enable maximum interaction in the form of panel discussions, debates and talks among healthcare experts specialising in oral cancer. The topics included application of optical augmentation in oral surgery, surgical approaches in advanced oral cavity cancer, management of advanced tongue cancer, reconstruction of lip and commissure, palliative care in oral cancer, prevention and management of osteoradionecrosis, guidelines for optimising dental care and rehabilitation in oral cancer, strategies to reduce radiation toxicity and management, to name some.
CANCON 2019 was organised in association with The Foundation for Head and Neck Oncology, Association of Otolaryngologists of India, Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of India, Academia of Head and Neck Oncology of Karnataka, Indian Dental Association, Bangalore Chapter and Indian Medical Association, Yelahanka Branch.
The symposium offered a noteworthy platform for cancer survivors to share their inspiring stories. Rashmi Vaid (tongue cancer survivor), Ravi Prakash Vaid (papillary carcinoma thyroid cancer survivor), Srinivasan (lower jaw and cheek cancer survivor), and Venkatlakshmamma (oral cancer survivor) reiterated the importance of self-belief and seeking medical assistance in time.