the warning signs of ENT cancer

The Nancy CHRU undertakes prevention and screening actions as part of the European ENT Cancer Awareness Week, Make Sense. This Wednesday, his doctors will be in downtown Nancy to offer free and painless examinations of the upper aero-digestive tract (VADS). Everyone is affected. Especially since, like most cancers, those of the head and neck regions advance quietly. They are barely noticeable in the embryonic state. “Unfortunately, they are often diagnosed late,” says Bruno Toussaint, hospital practitioner in the ENT department of the CHRU de Nancy. With his colleague, Patrice Gallet, Bruno Toussaint set up an operation this Wednesday, September 21 (a bus will be parked in the Saint-Sébastien square, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Nancy) to make the population aware of the dangerousness of these ENT cancers which strike nearly 15,000 new people each year and result in nearly 4,000 deaths.

As you can imagine, alcohol and tobacco are the ferment of these cancers. But another risk factor is emerging and exploding worldwide: the papillomavirus or papillomavirus. “It is well known at the gynecological level, since it is responsible for almost 100% of uterine cancers, but much less in ENT, explains Bruno Toussaint. However, we now know that it is involved in cancers of the back of the mouth (oropharynx). One can thus have a serious tumor, as if one had drunk and smoked. It is a so-called “squamous cell” cancer. “Cancer preventable by vaccination, recalls Patrice Gallet: “We forget it a little, but the vaccine against the papillomavirus does not only concern girls. Boys can also be vaccinated. »

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“Early diagnosis is essential”

Among the symptoms that should not be overlooked and considered as warning signs, are bleeding from the mouth, of course, but also repetitive mouth ulcers, persistent discomfort in the throat or swallowing, aphonia… “When you have a problem at this level and the treatments prescribed by the family doctor don’t work, you have to go see an ENT specialist,” Bruno Toussaint recommends. In general, after two ineffective treatments, it is recommended to consult a specialist. “Early diagnosis is fundamental because it is necessary to be aware that the sequelae are major in this type of cancer, continues Patrice Gallet. With treatments that are heavy, we will affect the sense of smell, voice, breathing, taste, sometimes vision…”

The aftermath of cancer is sometimes just as painful, if not more so, than the disease itself. The risk of recurrence remains high. And it is often necessary to relearn to exist socially with physical and psychological alterations. This part will be addressed during a public conference entitled “(Re)living after ENT cancer”. Led by the ENT team of the CHRU, it will bring together this Wednesday, from 7 p.m., patient associations and witnesses in the Raugraff room, in Nancy. Will follow Wednesday, September 28, a second day of screening in the ENT department of the CHRU. All you have to do is go to the ground floor of the Louis-Mathieu building, door 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Note that the Lorraine Cancer Institute (ICL) in Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy is also taking part in the Make Sense campaign. He proposes, this Wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., a meeting with the association “Les Mutilés de la voix de Lorraine” in its meeting and information space, as well as a debate with ENT specialists this Thursday 22 September, at 8 p.m., salle Pergaud (1, place de la Liberté in Laxou) and a screening day this Friday, September 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on registration on 03. 83. 59. 85. 66.