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A 34-year-old member asked:

What should i expect after radiation therapy for head and neck cancer?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 27 years experience
Dry mouth: Depending on the radiation field.. Dry mouth is very common, hoarseness, and tightening of the skin of the neck. Sometimes difficulty swallowing.
Dr. Ritesh Rathore
Hematology and Oncology 30 years experience
Many issues: Radiation therapy can give short-term and permanent side effects. Mouth sores, swallowing difficulties, pain, skin burns usually happen during and right after radiation nut get better over time. Permanent side effects include mouth dryness, swallowing difficulties, skin thickening, speech changes.
Dr. Simon Rosenberg
Dentistry 46 years experience
Dental problems also: The dry mouth increases the decay rate and the pattern is different from traditional caries as the decay is rapid onset, circumferential, and generally hard to treat with frequent recurrence. When teeth are extracted the bone may not heal and bone death and loss of jaw is possible. This is called osteoradionecrosis.
Dr. Stephen Rothstein
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Radiation: Great question. Many people have redness of the skin, dry mouth and throat and problems with swallowing. It depends on the areas that are radiated. Hang in there with it. It usually gets better with time.

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A 28-year-old member asked:

What are the goals of nutrition during radiation therapy for the head and neck ?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Family Medicine 60 years experience
Diet with radiation: Because radiation therapy to head and neck often has a profound effect on the ability to ear, loss of appetite, nausea and subsequent weight loss, the patient must be treated to prevent mal-nutrition. Often a stomach tube is inserted so a nutritious diet can be given during the radiation therapy period.

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Last updated Mar 24, 2020

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