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July 29, 2022

30. Treating Head and Neck Cancers | Dr. Evan Walgama

by Anthony Effinger

The Think Neuro podcast from Pacific Neuroscience Institute takes you into the clinic, operating room and laboratory with doctors and surgeons who are tackling the most challenging brain diseases and disorders. Host: Anthony Effinger

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Episode 30: Show Notes

Dr. Evan Walgama is a Head & Neck Oncology Surgeon, which means that he specializes in treating any cancer affecting areas from the collar bone to the base of the brain. While in the past, head and neck cancer surgeons tended to see older patients in poorer health who were often smokers coming in for treatment, the demographics have shifted. Dr. Walgama’s practice is following this national trend, where younger, healthier, non-smokers, and often male patients are filling his waiting room.

The culprit is HPV – human papillomavirus. Patients may develop tumors in the mouth, tongue, throat, or skull base for other reasons as well. Surgery is sometimes a good option, and in other cases, chemotherapy and radiation might be considered better. Shared decision making with his patients is something Dr. Walgama advocates for. “I’m a surgeon, but not everybody needs surgery,” Dr. Walgama says.

Listen to this podcast to learn how Dr. Walgama deals with tricky tumors in a delicate region of the body

About Dr. Walgama

Evan Walgama MD

Evan Walgama, MD is a board-certified Otolaryngologist – Head & Neck / ENT Surgeon at the Pacific Eye, Ear & Skull Base Center at Pacific Neuroscience Institute, Santa Monica. His particular area of expertise is in the treatment of patients with benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck.

Check Out More Think Neuro Podcast Episodes

About the Author

Anthony Effinger

Anthony Effinger

Think Neuro's host is Anthony Effinger, an award-winning journalist who is fascinated with neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Anthony spent 24 years at Bloomberg News, where he covered all aspects of finance, with forays into science and health. In 2006, the Association of Health Care Journalists awarded him first prize for Playing the Odds, an in-depth piece on the changing strategies used to treat prostate cancer. These days, he is a staff writer at Willamette Week, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Last updated: May 19th, 2023