The term ‘head and neck cancer’ encompasses a range of tumours. The commonest sites of head and neck cancers are, in descending order: Larynx (voice box); oral cavity (including the tongue); pharynx (throat); thyroid and salivary glands.
The current treatments include one or a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery. All of these can result in voice, speech and swallowing difficulties.
The Speech and Language Therapist will work closely with the doctors, nurses and other professionals (such as dieticians and radiotherapists) involved in your treatment. As radiotherapy and chemotherapy are not available at Milton Keynes Hospital, many of our patients have their treatment elsewhere, and we work closely with the Speech and Language Therapists in these other hospitals. Together, the team will inform you of different treatment options and how they will affect you, in both the long and short term.
The Speech and Language Therapist will be involved in your care from the time you are diagnosed with cancer. They will work with you before your treatment to inform you of what to expect and see you regularly throughout your treatment and afterwards for as long as necessary.
Macmillan Cancer Support
The Royal Marsden
National Association of Laryngectomee Clubs