Swallowing Disorders After Organ Preservation Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer Organ preservation treatment of high dose chemoradiotherapy has been used for several years to treat head and neck cancers, with comparable cure rates to surgery (Vokes, et al., 1995). The intent of organ preservation treatment is to preserve the organ (i.e., larynx, tongue, tongue base) and negate the need ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2001
Swallowing Disorders After Organ Preservation Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cathy L. Lazarus
    Northwestern University Medical School, Voice, Speech and Language Service and Swallowing Center, Chicago, IL
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2001
Swallowing Disorders After Organ Preservation Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2001, Vol. 10, 11-14. doi:10.1044/sasd10.4.11
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2001, Vol. 10, 11-14. doi:10.1044/sasd10.4.11
Organ preservation treatment of high dose chemoradiotherapy has been used for several years to treat head and neck cancers, with comparable cure rates to surgery (Vokes, et al., 1995). The intent of organ preservation treatment is to preserve the organ (i.e., larynx, tongue, tongue base) and negate the need for surgical excision of the tumor and surrounding tissues and structures. However, organ sparing treatment does not necessarily preserve function of the organ. Indeed, quality of life can be negatively affected following chemoradiotherapy to the head and neck (List, et al., 1999).
External beam radiotherapy has known early and late side effects to tissues. Early effects can include mucositis, erythema, ulceration, bleeding, xerostomia (lack of salivary flow), desquamation, pain, and soreness (Arcuri & Schneider, 1992; Cooper, Fu, Marks, & Silverman, 1995). These effects can cause difficulties with eating, since swallowing typically becomes quite painful. Late radiation effects can include osteoradionecrosis (necrosis of the bone, particularly the mandible), trismus (reduced jaw opening), reduced capillary flow, neural damage, altered oral flora, including changes in histology of mucin and serous secretions, altered tactile sensation and reduced and altered/reduced taste and dental sensation (Abu Shara et al., 1993; Arcuri & Schneider, 1992; Aviv, Hecht, Weinberg, Dalton, & Urken, 1992; Ichimura & Tanaka, 1993; Knowles, Chalian, & Shidnia, 1986; Love & Gomez, 1984; Schwartz, Weiffenbach, Valdez & Fox, 1993).
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