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Follow-Up Care

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Some long-term side effects from the initial treatment plan can develop later. For these reasons, follow-up evaluations will need to occur.

For example, if radiation therapy was administered to the neck region, then there is an increased likelihood of developing impaired functioning.5Referenced with permission from The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Head and Neck Cancers V.2.2014. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2014. All rights reserved. Accessed June 18, 2014. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to www.NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. For example, 25 percent of patients who were administered surgery and radiation therapy combinations developed hypothyroidism post-treatment.13 Alexander MV, Zajtchuk JT, Henderson RL. Hypothyroidism and wound healing: occurrence after head and neck radiation and surgery. Arch Otolaryngol. 1982 May;108(5):289-91. For this reason, every six to 12 months, you will need to undergo tests to evaluate the thyroid gland.5Referenced with permission from The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Head and Neck Cancers V.2.2014. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2014. All rights reserved. Accessed June 18, 2014. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to www.NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. You can work with your health care professionals to obtain advice as to how frequently you should have follow-up evaluations to confirm that you are not experiencing long term-side effects.

You should take steps to decrease the likelihood of developing cancer again. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are known risk factors for various types of head and neck cancer.14 American Cancer Society (ACS). Cancer Facts and figures 2012. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2012. If you need help with the cessation of these behaviors, you may want to seek counseling.5Referenced with permission from The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Head and Neck Cancers V.2.2014. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2014. All rights reserved. Accessed June 18, 2014. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to www.NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc.

Finally, if you have not yet returned to work, you can begin to take steps to resume your job as you feel able to do so.

http://vimeo.com/64108652
Follow the doctor’s orders to the letter.Gordon O. (laryngeal cancer survivor)

References

1 Logemann JA, Pauloski BR, Rademaker AW, et al. Swallowing disorders in the first year after radiation and chemoradiation. Head Neck. 2008 Feb;30(2):148-58.

2 Pauloski BR. Rehabilitation of dysphagia following head and neck cancer. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2008 Nov;19(4):889-928.

3 Argiris A, Karamouzis MV, Raben D, Ferris RL. Head and neck cancer. Lancet. 2008;371:1695-1709.

4 Epstein JB, Emerton S, Kolbinson DA, et al. Quality of life and oral function following radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Head Neck. 1999 Jan;21(1):1-11.

5 Referenced with permission from The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Head and Neck Cancers V.2.2014. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2014. All rights reserved. Accessed June 18, 2014. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to www.NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc.

6 Gritz ER, Carmack CL, de Moor C, et al. First year after head and neck cancer: quality of life. J Clin Oncol.1999 Jan;17(1):352-60.

7 Gaziano JE. Evaluation and management of oropharyngeal dysphagia in head and neck cancer. Cancer Control. 2002 Sep-Oct;9(5):400-9.

8 Chen HC, Evans KFK, Salgado CJ, Mardini S. Methods of voice reconstruction. Seminars in Plastic Surgery. 2010;227-232.

9 Shah JP, Lydiatt W. Treatment of cancer of the head and neck. CA Cancer J Clin. 1995;45:352-368.

10 Katz MR, Kopek N, Waldron J, Devins GM, Tomlinson G. Screening for depression in head and neck cancer. Psycho Oncology. 2004 Apr;13(4):269-80.

11 Terrell JE, Fisher SG, Wolf GT. Long-term quality of life after treatment of laryngeal cancer. The Veterans Affairs Laryngeal Cancer Study Group. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998 Sep;124(9):964-71.

12 Semple CJ, Dunwoody L, Sullivan K, Kernohan WG. Patients with head and neck cancer prefer individualized cognitive behavioural therapy. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2006 Jul;15(3):220-7.

13 Alexander MV, Zajtchuk JT, Henderson RL. Hypothyroidism and wound healing: occurrence after head and neck radiation and surgery. Arch Otolaryngol. 1982 May;108(5):289-91.

14 American Cancer Society (ACS). Cancer Facts and figures 2012. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2012.