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Rehabilitation of speech, swallowing, voice and trismus following head and neck cancer

There have been significant advances in treatment modalities for primary and recurrent head and neck cancer, and a changing patient demographic as well, because people with head and neck cancer are now living longer. However, this is not always without consequences. Long-term treatment effects are a new challenge in support and rehabilitation.

A review completed last year in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom (Rothrie S, et al., Br Dent J. 2022 Nov;233(9):801-805. doi: 10.1038/s41415-022-5145-2) concludes that to ameliorate the significant impact on physical and psychosocial wellbeing of treatment, a multidisciplinary team approach is critical throughout the entire care pathway. This study’s key focus is on speech and language therapists, for holistic attention to speech, swallowing, voice, and mouth-opening functionality. Effective management, conclude the study’s authors, cannot happen in the absence of robust multidimensional baseline evaluation and consistently integrative follow-up care.

MyoNews from BreatheWorksTM is a report on trends and developments in oromyofunctional disorder and therapy. These updates are not intended as diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease or syndrome.

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