THE CARE of patients with head and neck cancers requires familiarity with a variety of skills which at the present time are assigned to several different subspecialties in the medical profession, and this fact probably accounts for the therapy of these lesions lying in a medical no man's land. The otolaryngologist becomes skilled in the examination of the oral cavity, and this skill permits him to discover many primary tumors. His ability to cope with them by major surgical procedures—radical neck dissections, combined neck and jaw resections, etc.—is frequently totally lacking, so that even though he may make the diagnosis he can contribute little to the actual therapy of the patient.
Many radiologists unhesitatingly accept the responsibility for treating intraoral cancers. Yet it is unusual for the average radiologist to be capable of examining, or even willing to examine, the pharynx, larynx, pyriform sinuses, or base of the tongue with a view to
MORFIT HM. MANAGEMENT OF HEAD AND NECK CANCER BY THE GENERAL SURGEON. AMA Arch Surg. 1952;64(5):631-646. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260010649013