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25-10-2014 | Head and neck cancers | Article

Robotic Surgery for the Management of Oropharyngeal Malignancies

Author: M.D. Eric J. Moore

Publisher: Springer New York

Abstract

The oropharynx encompasses the soft palate, the palatine tonsils, the base of tongue, and a portion of the posterior and lateral pharyngeal wall between the nasopharynx and hypopharynx. The oropharynx is lined by squamous epithelium, and it contains numerous salivary glands and lymphoid tissue. Squamous cell carcinoma comprises the majority of cancers in the oropharynx. Oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma (OP SCCA) comprises approximately 12 % of all head and neck cancers, with an increasing incidence each year [1]. Historically, OP SCCa has been a disease associated strongly with heavy tobacco and alcohol use. While these two carcinogens continue to play a role in the development of OP SCCa, human papilloma virus (HPV, particularly type 16) has been recognized as the most common factor associated with oropharynx cancer in the United States and other developed cancers. HPV 16 is also the most common factor in the development of cervical cancer in women, and the incidence of OP SCCa related to HPV 16 is expected to eclipse the incidence of cervical cancer by 2020 [2].

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