In the treatment of tumors in the head and neck area benign and malignant tumors are distinguished. Therefore the diagnosis „tumor“ (lat.: swelling) is by no means always a life-threatening disease. Whether a tumor is malignant depends primarily on three factors: destroying, boundless growth, metastasis (developing metastasis spread in other parts of the body) and degeneration of the cells (tumor cells are less and less similar to healthy cells of the affected organ). Benign tumors, which usually form a capsule from which they are relatively easy to excise, must also be removed. Due to their growth, they can cause damage to neighboring tissues, as well as a few can degenerate malignantly. However, a distinction in "good" and "evil" would be too easy. There are also "crossers" who are the precursors of a later malignant tumor. These should be removed before a malignant change occurs.
Locally malignant tumors occur particularly frequently in our specialist area. These include above all:
- Basalioma (auch: basal cell carcinoma): Apart from a few rare exceptions, these tumors develop in the late adulthood, especially in these areas of the skin, which are directly exposed to the sun on the nose, ears and forehead. They are caused by chronic light damage, which is not caused by one or two sunburns, but by a lot of time in the fresh air. Sailors, bricklayers, farmers and pale and / or red-haired people with sensitive skin are particularly often affected by basalioma. These tumors have to be removed with a small safety distance in the healthy tissue and are thus adequately treated. These interventions are generally performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. However, you should remain under a regular doctor's check if you have ever had a basal cell. The basal cell carcinoma can also develop in other places at a later time.
- Malignant Melanoma (also: black skin cancer): This tumor is also caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. However, it is very malignant and originates from other cells. The melanocytes are responsible for the pigmentation (tanning) of the skin. Therefore, these tumors are usually deep brown to bluish black. The malignant melanoma must be recognized as early as possible and radically removed, since it is one of the most easily metastasizing (scattering) tumors ever. Depending on the stage and age of the patient, chemotherapy becomes additionally necessary, which is usually performed in a specialized center. However, melanoma can be cured easily, if they are detected in time and removed completely.
- Nevus (also: birthmark): In principle, nevi are completely harmless. If, however, a birthmark changes, the dermatologist should pay attention whether it turns into a melanoma. In such cases, or when a birthmark resembles a melanoma or basal cell, it should be removed in a small procedure and examined by the pathologist to obtain a reliable diagnosis.
- Salivary gland tumors: These tumors are predominantly benign and mostly arise in the parotid gland, which lies between the ear, the cheek, and the mandibular angle. They must also be removed, as they can degenerate with increasing growth or damage the neighboring tissue. The removal requires a great deal of experience since the facial nerve runs through the parotid gland and should be spared during. We carry out these interventions very frequently.
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity: Tumors in the oral cavity that emanate from the oral mucosa are usually malignant. The squamous cell carcinoma usually arises as a result of long-term oral mucus damage caused by excessive and regular alcohol and cigarette consumption, usually accompanied by poor oral hygiene. The therapy consists of surgery and, if necessary, radiation and chemotherapy. Which of these measures must be taken and the level of radicality depends on the position and the size of the tumor, the degree of degeneration of the cells, and the other circumstances such as age, general condition, and above all the patient's wish.
We take the time to provide detailed advice and support for our patients with malignant tumors. No tumor and no one is like any other. We also benefit from short work routes to colleagues from other disciplines involved in the therapy so that you are always in good hands.