Spirits, Spices and Sharp Teeth

The Surgical Management of Head and Neck Cancer

Mr David Courtney

Mr David Courtney

All images on page (except banner) Copyright © David Courtney

On 22nd October 2018, Mr. David Courtney, Consultant in Oral and Maxillo-facial surgery in Plymouth, was the guest speaker at the first meeting of the Society's 2018-9 season.

David reminded us of the incidence and causes of oral and facial cancer which is predominantly a malignant change in squamous tissue of the region.
To spirits, spices and sharp teeth were added HPV and HIV as possible precursors of mitotic change in the oro-pharynx.
David outlined the cycle of surgical management of head and neck cancer, before moving onto illustrate the advances in surgical procedure of which he has become a recognised expert.
For the medical attendees the description of various flap and free vascular tissue transfers offered a view into advances in surgery which offer quality outcomes from disfiguring and limiting conditions.
For the non-medical guests the prospect of hair growing in the mouth after a vasculated graft from the forearm seemed a harsh price to pay.
Perhaps it dawned on all of us that treatment for advanced cancer leaves a deficit which might be avoided by earlier recognition, diagnosis and treatment.

Torquay & District Medical Society

The Medical Society is a medium for both education and entertainment.

This opening talk was predominately of an educational nature.
Later in the season, the Society will present talks showing the adventurous, entertaining and unusual sides of life in the medical profession.

You can click here to view full details of the programme, with links to book your place via our website.

Review by Ian Fraser