Oral, Head, Neck & Thyroid Cancers Information

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Swallowing Exercises Shown to Preserve Function in People with Head and Neck Cancer Receiving Radiation

A study from UCLA’s Jonsson Com­prehensive Cancer Center has found that people with head and neck cancer receiv­ing radiation as part of their treatment were less likely to experience unwanted side effects such as worsening of diet, need for a feeding tube, or narrowing of the throat passage if they complied with a set of prescribed swallowing exercises during therapy.

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FDA Approves Nexavar to Treat Type of Thyroid Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded the approved uses of Nexavar (sorafenib) to treat late-stage (metastatic) differentiated thyroid cancer. The drug’s new use is intended for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive differentiated thyroid cancer that no longer responds to radioactive iodine treatment.

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FDA Approves Cometriq to Treat Rare Type of Thyroid Cancer

The FDA completed review of Cometriq’s application in six months under the agency’s priority review program. This program provides for an expedited six-month review for drugs that may offer major advances in treatment or that provide a treatment when no adequate therapy exists. Cometriq also received orphan-product designation by the FDA because it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition.

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Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer

Most types of head and neck cancer start in the cells lin­ing the open cavities of the head and neck, such as the sinuses, na­sal cavity, mouth, or throat. Other kinds of head and neck cancer can occur in the salivary glands. These glands pro­duce the fluid, called “saliva” or spit, that keeps your mouth and throat moist.

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Understanding Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, head and neck cancer accounts for nearly 3 to 5 percent of all cancer in the United States. These types of cancer are more common in men and in people older than age 50. Around 47,560 men and women in this country develop head and neck cancer every year. Tobacco and alcohol use are common risk factors for this cancer.

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Most People Can Speak and Swallow After Combination Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer

Most people do not have ongoing speaking or swallowing difficulties following combined chemotherapy and radiation treatment for advanced head or neck cancer, but several factors may be associated with worse outcomes in these functions.

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Pain, Dry Mouth Play Role in Sleep Quality of Head and Neck Cancer Patients

by Jeffrey Terrell, MD, and Sonia Duffy, PhD, RN

Head and neck cancer patients who reported poor sleep quality one year after diagnosis had more symptoms of chronic pain and complaints of dry mouth related to radiation treatments, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Head and Neck Radiation Treatment and Your Mouth

While head and neck radiation helps treat cancer, it can also cause other things to happen in your mouth called side effects. Some of these problems could cause you to delay or stop treatment. This information will tell you ways to help prevent mouth problems so you’ll get the most from your cancer treatment. To help prevent serious problems, see a dentist at least 2 weeks before starting radiation.

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