Head and neck cancers pose an especially serious problem in developing countries due to late presentation requiring complex surgical intervention. These countries are faced with many challenges, ranging from insufficient health care staff to problems with peri-operative requirements, diagnostic facilities, chemoradiation services and research funding.
These challenges can be addressed through the training of head and neck surgeons and support personnel, the improvement of cancer awareness in local communities, and the establishment of dedicated head and neck institutes which focus on the special needs of head and neck cancer patients.
All these changes can best be achieved through collaborative efforts with external partners. The Karl Storz Fellowship in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer, enabling training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, has served as a springboard towards establishing head and neck services in developing sub-Saharan African countries.