Scientists studied the 5 year survival rate in patients suffering from Head and Neck cancer and were given General and Regional anesthesia. And found that cancer recurrence was lower, in patients who received surgery under regional anesthesia compared to general anesthesia1.
Head and Neck cancer occurs at almost 30 regions in anatomy which involves upper aero-digestive tract (UAT). It includes the buccal mucosa, upper and lower lips, vestibule, lateral and ventral part of the tongue, the upper portion of the respiratory system (pharynx) and the larynx2.
In the recent decades the surgical management of this cancer has developed in fast pace. Continues improvement have been found in anesthesia, antibiotics, blood-transfusion techniques, blood-banking and techniques for reconstruction.
In anesthesia field, anesthesiologists and surgeons are mainly worried safe procedures which will deliver successful anesthesia results. The choice of anesthesia depends on adequate sedation for the surgical procedure, preoperative pain control, respiratory and hemodynamic stability and prevention of nausea and vomiting3.
The responsibility of anesthesiologists has been increased with the rapid increased rate of head and neck cancer, both in the management of chronic pain in cancer patients and during preoperative procedures. Some studies have suggested that regional anesthesia (in contrast to general anesthesia) may decrease stress caused by surgery, thus dropping reappearance4.
Keeping the above facts in mind the researchers investigated the effects of regional versus general anesthesia on 5-years survival and cancer recurrence in head and neck cancer patients. The total sample consisted of 180 patients who received surgery for head and neck cancer.
Out of 180 about 90 patients were treated under general anesthesia and other 90 histopathologically proven cases were treated under regional anesthesia. The standard age of patients’ was larger in the general anesthesia group than in the regional group. The effectual time of general anesthesia was about 30 min longer than that of regional anesthesia.
Apparently not much difference was found in prevalence of reoccurrence. The rate of achieving 5-years survival after surgery was greater with regional anesthesia than with general anesthesia. This was confirmed by partial correlation analyses, which also indicated that regional anesthesia was associated with a longer recurrence-free period.
Authors suggest that it is not required to choose a particular anesthesia method to achieve a better prediction for patients with non-metastatic head and neck cancers.
Written by: Rabeeia
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17 November, 2019