Different hospitals have different guidelines, and indeed, it’s hard to craft clear guidelines, said Dr. Richmon. “It requires an individualized approach to each patient.” At Hopkins, cases are evaluated by a team of physicians, including a surgeon, a radiation oncologist, a medical oncologist, and a speech therapist.
Explore This IssueApril 2014
At Maryland, Dr. Wolf’s group is conservative when it comes to choosing surgery. “We offer robot surgery if we think they’re not going to need radiation or chemotherapy,” he said. “Like anything else, it’s just a tool that we use. There’s still a large role for chemoradiation and for conventional surgery.”
Jill Adams is a freelance medical writer based in Delmar, N.Y.