Video

Dr. Sacco Discusses Multidisciplinary Care in Head and Neck Cancer

Assuntina G. Sacco, MD, assistant professor of medicine, medical oncologist, UC San Diego Health, discusses the importance of multidisciplinary care in the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer.

Assuntina G. Sacco, MD, assistant professor of medicine, medical oncologist, UC San Diego Health, discusses the importance of multidisciplinary care in the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer.

Sacco says that multidisciplinary care is more important than ever in head and neck cancer. Collaboration between surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and speech language therapists is vital—no one specialist can do it alone, she emphasizes.

Additionally, dietitians should be involved, as they can assist in minimizing weight loss and reduce the potential for a feeding tube, which some patients with head and neck cancer end up needing. The incorporation of dietitians and speech pathologists can even expedite the removal of feeding tubes, as well as improving swallowing mechanisms.

Patients with head and neck cancer undergo a lot of toxicity during their rigorous treatment course, Sacco explains. These patients need intensive support throughout the care continuum, especially in the months of recovery that follow treatment.

Related Videos
Lajos Pusztai, MD, DPhil
Hope S. Rugo, MD
Marc Machaalani, MD
Craig Eckfeldt, MD, PhD, assistant professor, medicine, faculty, Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology PhD Graduate Program, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, the University of Minnesota Medical School
Alicia Morgans, MD, MPH, genitourinary medical oncologist, medical director, Survivorship Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; associate professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School
Alfred L. Garfall, MD, MS
Razane El Hajj Chehade, MD
Mark Juckett, MD, professor, medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, the University of Minnesota Medical School
Coral Olazagasti, MD
Barbara Jane O’Brien, MD, associate professor, Neuro-Oncology, Department of Neuro-Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center