Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Laser surgery brings new hope for nasal carcinoma sufferers

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Laparoscope laser surgery may be effective in treating patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma, or cancer of the nasal passage, a local hospital said yesterday at a press conference.

National Taiwan University Hospital's Department of Otolaryngology's Head and Neck Cancer Division has been using KPT laser surgery on patients suffering from stage one recurrent nasal cancer for over a year, division head Ko Jeng-yuh (郭政郁) said.

Although the treatment was usually used to cure snoring or other nasal illnesses, this was the first time the surgery has been used on recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients, according to Tan Ching-ting (譚慶鼎), a surgeon from the same division.

Ko said there were many side effects resulting from traditional operations on patients with the illness as a tumor resection is very destructive to a patients' face or mouth.

The laser surgery, however, uses a laparoscope to enter the nasal passage and remove the tumor before cauterizing the surrounding tissue and thus does not destroy the facial structure, Ko said.

The operation takes about one hour to complete and patients only have to be hospitalized for two days, he added.

Ko and Tan said that patients do not suffer the serious side effects caused by traditional surgeries when using the laparoscope.

According to Tan, among the 16 people who have received the treatment, seven of them avoided a relapse.

She said the success rates for both traditional and KPT surgery were similar but the latter guarantees no or fewer side effects.

Ko said patients do not have to pay extra money for the treatment when insured by national health insurance because the hospital will cover the expenses.

About five or six out of every 100,000 people in Taiwan suffer from nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Ko said, adding that patients who were in the early stages of cancer should seek professional help as early as possible.

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