No Speech or Swallowing Problem after Head & Neck Cancer TherapyBy Mayuri, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
NEW YORK (GaeaTimes.com) — Most head and neck cancer patients can speak and swallow after undergoing combined chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but several factors may be associated with poor outcomes, researchers have found.
The study came out as a result of three years of detection. The U.S. researchers gave a speaking score of 1 through 4 to 163 patients an average of 34.8 months after they completed treatment, and gave a swallowing score of 1 through 4 to 166 patients an average of 34.5 months after treatment. A higher score indicated reduced ability to speak or swallow.
Most of the patients (84.7 percent of those assigned speaking scores and 63.3 percent of those given swallowing scores) had no lasting problems and received a score of 1. Of the 160 patients who were given both speaking and swallowing scores, 96 had a score of 1 in each category, the investigators found.
Factors associated with poorer speaking ability were: being female; a history of smoking; a tumor in the hypopharynx (where the larynx and esophagus meet) or the larynx; or having a tumor that did not respond to the initial dose of chemotherapy.
Factors associated with poorer swallowing ability were: being older; have poor swallowing ability before treatment; neck dissection (surgery to remove lymph nodes and surrounding tissue); and having a tumor in the hypopharynx or larynx.