Mngmnt of Patients After Head & Neck Cancer Therapy

Management of Patients Who Have Undergone Head and Neck Cancer Therapy

Dena J. Fischer DDS, MSD, MSa, , and Joel B. Epstein DMD, MSD, FRCD(C), FCDS(BC), FDS RCSEda, b

aDepartment of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, 801 South Paulina Street, MC 838, Chicago, IL 60612-7213, USA bInterdisciplinary Program in Oral Cancer, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Patients who undergo treatment for head and neck cancers often suffer from acute or late reactions to therapy. Severity of these oral complications may be based on the location and extent of tumor, as well as the type and extent of treatment.

Some complications are transient, whereas others require a lifetime of management secondary to damage that results in permanent dysfunction. Patients who have a history of head and neck cancers are also at an increased risk for recurrences or second malignancies, and therefore require close follow-up.

Dental professionals should provide preventive and supportive care, including education and symptom management, for patients experiencing oral complications related to cancer therapy, and should closely monitor patients' level of distress, ability to cope, and treatment response.


Dental Clinics of North America Volume 52, Issue 1, January 2008, Pages 39-60 Management of the Oncologic Patient

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