Every 30 seconds, in America someone is hearing they have been diagnosed with cancer. It is a disease that costs our country millions of dollars annually, not only in medical costs, but also in loss of productivity due to illness and premature death.
In 2001, Dr Dobleman founded the Dobleman Head and Neck Cancer Institute (DHNCI), a 501 (c) (3) organization to focus on these forms of cancer that affects the lives of more than 80,000 Americans each year and an additional 400,000 citizens who develop skin cancer in the head and neck area. The Institute also addresses the needs of countless more citizens who develop non-cancerous tumors and lymphomas.
When developing the Institute, the Board of Directors and staff wanted to create an organization that took a patient first approach. Cancer care is more then administering tests and treatment drugs. It involves meeting all aspects of a patient's needs, from the physical to the emotional and spiritual. The Institute is unique in the nation due to its focus on all aspects of head and neck cancers including Research and Cure, Clinical Trials, Free Screenings, Educational Outreach, Treatment, and Recovery Services. Cancers of the head and neck are unique in that they are not easily detected. Of the thousands of patients Dr. Dobleman has seen in the pas decade, 75% were not referred until they were already in the later stages of their disease.
The treatment of any cancer involves more than surgery, administering tests, and drug therapy. This is especially true due to the unique nature of cancers and benign tumors of the head and neck. Unfortunately, many survivors will need to deal with a multitude of issues including:
- Difficulty with speech and swallowing
- Changes in appearance due to surgery and treatment - leading to subsequent reconstructive surgery needs
- Emotional and physical needs of both the patient and their family and the disease's impact on their quality of life.
- Survivors have a higher risk (up to 20 times higher of recurrence of their head and neck cancer due to: 1. late stage diagnosis; 2. Smoking and tobacco use.