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The role of panendoscopy in the modern investigation of head and neck cancer is changing with the development of improved radiological techniques, in-office biopsy capabilities and the low rate of synchronous primary tumours. This study aimed to review the indications for panendoscopy in the investigation of newly diagnosed head and neck cancer.
A retrospective review was conducted of 186 patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancer, between January 2014 and December 2015, at two tertiary centres.
Obtaining a tissue diagnosis was the most common indication for panendoscopy (65 per cent), followed by surgical planning including transoral robotic surgery suitability assessment (22.6 per cent), and the investigation of carcinoma of an unknown primary (11.3 per cent). Two synchronous primary tumours were identified, generating a yield of 1.1 per cent.
Panendoscopy remains integral in the assessment of transoral robotic surgery suitability. Refining indications for modern panendoscopy could reduce the need for this procedure in this cohort of patients.
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