HEAD AND NECK CANCER · ADULTS

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Be prepared for the late effects of head/neck cancer treatment

This study identifies risk factors associated with worse speech and voice symptoms in head and neck cancer survivors. 

June 5, 2021

We know that SLPs play an important role in counseling patients on the potential for speech, voice, and swallowing difficulties after HNC treatment. If we can better predict who might be at risk for developing these devastating long-term side effects, then we can better advocate for their participation in therapy to preserve function. 

 

Aggarwal et al. surveyed patients 7–10 years after curative oropharyngeal cancer treatment and identified risk factors that were associated with worse patient-reported voice and speech symptoms. Here’s what they found:

 

  • Increasing total radiation dose. The authors found that, on average, an increase of 1 gray (Gy) was associated with a 17% increase in odds of moderate to severe voice and speech scores…

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