Focus on Oral, Head, Neck & Thyroid Cancers
by Jan S. Lewin, PhD
Head and neck cancer often results in significant functional changes in speech, voice, and swallowing. These problems can occur as a result of the disease or of the treatment. It is important to have a thorough and realistic understanding of the functional effects of treatment because the restoration of communication and the ability to swallow may be critical to your treatment decision.
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.
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.