Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 2


Division of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, India

Correspondence Address:
R A Badwe
Division of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Badwe R A. Foreword. Indian J Plast Surg 2007;40, Suppl S1:2

How to cite this URL:
Badwe R A. Foreword. Indian J Plast Surg [serial online] 2007 [cited 2019 Jun 20];40, Suppl S1:2. Available from:

It is indeed timely that the journal has dedicated this issue to the plastic and reconstructive surgery in Oncology. The word timely has two connotations, the first, as perceived by the national need due to rising cancer burden and the second by the health care providers as to how they have braced themselves to face the challenge. There has been an unprecedented annual rise in the incidence of cancers (solid tumours) ranging from 0.5% to 2%. Head and neck, breast and bone/soft tissue tumours put together constitute almost 40% of the national cancer burden with a mind-boggling number of over 200,000 annual registrations. All these three sites mandate surgical extirpation as the mainstay of curative treatment in the majority. The outcomes short and long-term have improved with the advent of multi-modal therapy in the form of adjuvant chemo and radiotherapy. The critical issue in management of these cancers is maintaining proper timing and chronology of these treatments and this has been easily possible with the advent of improved reconstructive surgery.

As a surgical oncologist I find that over the last 25 years, there has been a remarkable improvement in functional recovery, cosmesis and uneventful primary wound healing following radical resections. In head and neck region following composite resection speech, mastication, swallowing is almost close to what patient would normally perform. Over and above the functional normalcy, maintenance of contours has given excellent cosmesis restoring patient's post-operative social life. The most comforting reason for oncologist is resumption of adequate oral intake and quick wound healing allowing prompt initiation and completion of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which if delayed or interrupted has a direct bearing on cure rates. This aspect is well covered by Dr. Kuriakose, Dr. Gill, Dr. Yadav and others. This issue of the journal devotes adequate space to this very important national problem.

A similar improvement with a world of difference is evident in bone and soft-tissue tumours where this race against time is won by well-spent time during the primary surgery and micro-vascular reconstruction leading to limb salvage. It is most heartening to note that patients affected during prime of their life leading a long fruitful life following successful control of bone tumours (Dr. Puri).

'Devil is in details' expresses aptly the process involved in micro-vascular reconstruction and the rewards of this principle are amply evident while one observes the results. I suggest that quality of life issues as perceived by patients following such reconstruction should be systematically documented in Indian patients and should be published in this journal in forthcoming issues.


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