Focus on Oral, Head, Neck & Thyroid Cancers
by Mary J. Bacon, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S
A diagnosis of head and neck cancer often raises concerns about speech clarity, voice quality, and swallowing ability. The degree to which a person’s speech and swallowing functions are affected varies depending on the type, size, and location of the tumor and the method used to treat it. Some people glide through treatment with little difficulty, while others experience impairment that is more extensive.
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.